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INT. COOL RESTAURANT BATHROOM - NIGHT 1

Bjork's 'It's Oh so quiet' plays.

WIDE SHOT of RICHIE from behind as he stands at a sink. His head is bowed down as he is washing his hands. We can’t see his face.

He looks up into the mirror.

We see that there is blood all over his mouth.

He takes a damp towel and wipes most of the blood off his mouth and nose.

There is a bang on the door. He ignores it.

WOMAN (MYRA)

Eddie-bear? Everyone's gone. So, I’m taking your mom home. She’s still shaken up.

The voice of a man, Eddie, who’s near, but can still not be seen in the scene, answers:

EDDIE   (O.S.)

I’ll take a taxi. Don’t worry about me!

Richie grabs a few tissues and hands them casually to the man, revealing his face. It’s, of course,  EDDIE . Who we discover is sitting, slumped on the floor with blood on his face and a bruised eye.

EDDIE

(with shy gratefulness)

Thank you, jackass.

Eddie takes the tissues from Richie’s hand, Richie watches him  wipe  his own  bloodied   nose. Richie, then, smiles at him. And he returns to the mirror, checking his hair.

He takes a breath.

He turns his head and looks directly into the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

This is a love story.

The title pops up, right at the point of “It‘s ’oh’ so quiet‘ when Bjork says ‘... So what's the use of falling in love’ for the last time in the song and the messy chorus  comes  up.

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS -  EVENING - EARLIER

Earlier that evening, Richie is walking through the busy city streets. He is wearing suit pants, and a nice white shirt under a long, black coat.   Very unlike himself who usually walks around wearing Hawaiian shirts . He shows that he feels awkward in these clothes by  patting his sleeves all the time to fix them.

He is walking, distracted, and then he notices the camera right in from of him, and does not look surprised nor alerted. He starts talking in a 'Ferris Bueller' way, as he's walking.

RICHIE

(to the camera)

You know that feeling when it’s a Friday night and you just  contemplate  all the things you could be doing instead of the thing you really chose to do? Because you could die next  Wednesday , spend all of eternity in hell and the last Friday of your life was absolutely crappy? And you think of all the things you could be doing that would make it worth being the last... You could be -

INT. A LIVING ROOM -  NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Richie is heatedly making out with a MAN   on a couch, the guy has his back to the camera, his hand is visibly inside of Richie’s pants.

Between kisses, the man whispers:

MAN

Wanna fuck me?

RICHIE

Hell yeah.

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS -  EVENING

We are back  in  the  street, with Richie, still walking and looking at the camera.

RICHIE

(To camera)

Or maybe-

INT. LIVING ROOM -  NIGHT - FLASHBACK

On the same couch, in the same living-room, Richie is making out with a  WOMAN She has her back to the camera, her hand is visibly inside of Richie’s pants.

Between kisses, Richie whispers: 

RICHIE

Wanna fuck me?

WOMAN

Hell yeah.

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS -  EVENING

Back  in  the  street , with Richie, still walking and looking at the camera.

RICHIE

Or even-

INT. LIVING ROOM -  NIGHT - FLASHBACK

On the same couch, in the same living-room, Richie is making out with a  WOMAN  (who is not the same one as before), while a  MAN  (who is not the same one as before) is kissing his neck. Both of them have their hands in his pants.

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS -  EVENING

Back  in  the  street , with Richie, still walking and looking at the camera.

RICHIE

Or maybe you could be on your couch alone, watching this one TV show you  hate  about doctors who don’t get to go home, so they fuck their colleagues in the hospital, while people are dying. And you cry your eyes out, because this one guy  you don’t really know  decided not to like you back on Tinder.

INT. LIVING ROOM -  NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Richie is sitting on the couch, in the same living room, the light is a bit low, and the TV is on, we can hear characters of Grey’s Anatomy talking. Richie is sobbing uncontrollably, with an Ice cream bowl in hands.

 

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS  - EVENING

We are back with the  present  Richie, he keeps going:

RICHIE

Also, you’re an alcoholic.

INT. LIVING ROOM -  NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Exact same scene from the last flashback. He is sitting on the couch, watching TV and sobbing but instead of an ice cream bowl, he is holding an almost empty vodka bottle. He takes a swing and cries some more.

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS  - EVENING

Back on the sidewalk with Richie, he’s still walking. People walk past him, cars make noise on the streets, no one is bothered by him.

RICHIE

Instead, it’s a Friday night, and your dad invites you to dinner because he wants to introduce you to his new girlfriend. And you go, because you‘re just so sure that it’s a matter of time until your life completely falls apart again, and you will need him to  lend  you money.

He stops talking, suddenly  looks  at the building at his left, the camera doesn’t follow his look. He points at it.

RICHIE

That’s me.

He gives the camera a clearly fake, apologetic smile and goes in. The camera does not follow him.

INT. INSIDE THE RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS

Jump cut to Richie inside the restaurant, just near the main door. He is staring, from afar, at a tall man hanging his coat . He  looks like a 10 times more handsome version of himself. He gestures at the man.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Oh, that’s my brother. My only brother.

His  BROTHER (Tom)   sees him, and waves with a fake smile. Richie waves back, and his brother turns his back, walking towards the tables.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He is richer, and more handsome than me and he is the biggest fucking asshole I’ve ever known. (Pause) Things have been tough between us. I mean, the two of us never really got along that well -

INT. A BEDROOM. NIGHT - THE 80S  - FLASHBACK

It’s a baby-blue colored bedroom, with lots of toys and two twin beds. In one of the beds, an 8 and a half years old Richie has a pillow against his 10 years old brother’s face He  is shaking his legs frantically against the bed, trying to break free, and trying to reach Richie’s face to poke his eyes with his thumbs - unsuccessfully. It’s playful to Richie, not so much to his brother.

From another room, a woman,  probably their mom, screams:

WOMAN (O.S.)

Richie !

He  takes off  the pillow from his brother’s face immediately. His brother’s face is red, he is hyperventilating, trying to catch his breath.

WOMAN (O.S.)

(still from another room)

If you murder your brother I‘m sending you to boot camp!

Richie takes a long, deep, audible breath and rolls his eyes. By his side, his brother is still recovering. Richie screams back:

RICHIE

I was doing it  ironically!

He waits but there’s no response. While it seems like he is distracted, waiting for her to reply, his brother takes the same pillow and uses it to push him to the other side of the bed, and then he is choking Richie with the pillow, just like Richie was doing to him seconds before.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. INSIDE THE RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS

Back from the flashback, Richie is still by the main door of the  restaurant. He is hanging his coat. He continues:

RICHIE

(to camera)

But lately, he’s been hating me in a special, new, groundbreaking way because he thinks I came-on to his wife a few months ago. (pause) Which I did not, okay? We are- were, we were best fucking friends.

EXT. OUTSIDE A HOUSE - EVENING  - FLASHBACK  - 5 MONTHS AGO

Richie is standing in front of a door. He is wearing a Hawaiian shirt, his glasses hanging almost at the tip of his nose because his hands are busy with grocery bags and he can’t really fix  them .

He manages to ring the bell.

After a few seconds, the door opens revealing a ginger woman -  BEVERLY  -, who’s wearing long pajamas.

BEVERLY

Hey, Richie.

RICHIE

Hey, Bev! Is my brother in?

Beverly answers with a playful, suspicious tone.

BEVERLY

It depends. What do you need him for?

RICHIE

I’m giving him the check to pay him back for my share on mom’s funeral. My loan just got approved today, so...

BEVERLY

Shit, congrats, Richie.

She hugs  him , which almost makes him drop all his bags to the floor. When she backs away, her sleeves roll up a little, revealing bruises up her arm. Richie notices.

RICHIE

(To camera)

Shit, did you see that??

BEVERLY

Uh- anyways, he is not in. He caught a plane this morning  for   business, he will be back tomorrow, though. You can come back, if you want.

Richie nods, he hesitates as if he is considering turning away and going home. But then he gives up. He cares too much  about  Beverly  to  just let it go.

RICHIE

No kidding!! Let me in, then. Let’s hang out.

BEVERLY

What ?

RICHIE

Come on, Bev. Let’s have a best buds quality time, uh? Like we used to.

BEVERLY

We‘re not ‘best buds’!

Richie subtly turns to the camera, and says with a serious face:

RICHIE

(to camera)

Yes, we are.

And then, he is back to Beverly:

RICHIE

(to Beverly)

Of course, we are. Come on!! Your dick’s bigger than mine, I want to have your respect.

Beverly rolls her eyes.

RICHIE

Besides, it’s your lucky day, I was just on my way back from the supermarket and I bought booze!

BEVERLY

Richie, aren't you an alcoholic?

And he answers with a big, goofy smile:

RICHIE

Exactly !

And, with a smile, she backs away from the door, letting him in.

INT. LIVING ROOM  - FLASHBACK A FEW  HOURS LATER

Richie and Beverly are both on a big sofa, sitting top and tails, since Richie is laying upside down, with his feet resting on the wall . Beverly's just sitting regularly. There are bottles of alcohol everywhere, they are laughing drunkenly.

BEVERLY

You know, what, Richie? I think you’re the better brother. If you weren’t gay I’d probably have married you.

RICHIE

Hey, hey, hey, hey, wait a minute, who told you I’m gay?

And he turns to us:

RICHIE

(to camera)

I’m really not.

BEVERLY

I literally caught you blowing a guy in your father’s bathroom last Christmas.

Again, Richie turns to the camera:

RICHIE

(To camera)

That was so hot, I literally came on my pants.

And he is back to Beverly:

RICHIE

(to Beverly)

I know! But my dick’s too big for only digging one kind of hole, you know?

Beverly just stares drunkenly at him, as if she doesn’t get it.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I’m bisexual.

RICHIE

(to Beverly)

I mean that I‘m bisexual!

BEVERLY

Whoah! It all makes sense now. You could’ve told me that before, though. You’re 5 years too late. I’d totally  have chosen you.

Richie laughs, so does she. He says in a joking tone:

RICHIE

Alright, Bev, give me a call when you leave my brother. And we can work that out.

She laughs, they both laugh. Then her face suddenly turns serious, she swallows loudly.

BEVERLY

When  I leave your brother?

Richie’s face turns serious too, he changes his position on the sofa  so that  he is sitting next to her, with his back straightened.   

RICHIE

Uh, you’re leaving him, right? You’re a strong, independent woman and he  hit you , so you‘re... Leaving him... Right? That’s the logical, right, thing to do... Like, it's what they say you should do... On flyers and stuff.

Suddenly, there’s a hurtful smile on her face.

BEVERLY

What makes you think that he hit me?

RICHIE

Bev, I saw the bruises on your arm. And it’s... It’s all over your collarbone too.

BEVERLY

(with a fake smile still on)

You could have asked me! I fell down the stairs this morning, silly .

Richie stares at her with a concerned look.

RICHIE

Bev...

Beverly hesitates, her smile drops, a few seconds of silence go through. She sighs loudly.

BEVERLY

It only happened this  one time , and he apologised.

RICHIE

The... stairs apologised?

Beverly rolls her eyes at that. She doesn’t answer.

RICHIE

Bev, isn’t that enough for you to know that you should leave him? I mean, once should be enough, right? He... He hit you. That’s serious stuff.

BEVERLY

Your mother just died! I can’t just leave him!

RICHIE

She’s gonna be dead forever! She’s literally rotting 7 feet down the fucking ground, she’s no excuse!

She sighs. And then, she drops her head on his shoulder, looking ahead. They fall into silence.

BEVERLY

Thank you for not going home.

He answers a few seconds later:

RICHIE

We’re family, right? Best buds for life?

BEVERLY

(Rolls her eyes)

Yes, Richie.

RICHIE

And when you leave him, you’re not leaving me?

BEVERLY

No, Richie. Best buds. Family. Whatever.

Richie cheers loudly, she smiles and they fall into silence.

INT. SAME LIVING ROOM -  FLASHBACK -  THE NEXT MORNING

In the same room, Richie and Beverly are  lying ,  asleep on the huge couch that almost resembles a bed. There are bottles of beer everywhere, and they’re spooning on the sofa, Beverly as the big spoon. But then, the front door opens, revealing Richie’s brother, who just stands by the door. He drops his luggage to the floor.

BROTHER (TOM)

(screams)

What the fuck???  

END OF  FLASHBACKS .

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1

We’re back with Richie in the restaurant, only now he is sitting at a table, with a glass of wine in  his hand .

RICHIE

(to camera)

You can only guess, that did not end well.

The camera opens, revealing some of the people at the table. His brother, his  FATHER , his father’s girlfriend (Mrs K) .

FATHER

(holding up his glass)

Here’s to family!

Richie holds up his glass in response.

Suddenly, Beverly arrives at the table.

BEVERLY

Hello! Sorry I’m late. I got caught up with work.

She gives her husband a peck on the lips and sits next to him. Everyone says hello, she gives Richie a patronising smile. He smiles back.

RICHIE

(to camera)

As you can see, she didn’t leave him. She left me, though. We haven’t spoken in 4 months. (Pause) Believe me when I tell you, t hings got ugly .

INT. ROOM - THANKSGIVING DAY -  FLASHBACK   - 4 AND A HALF MONTHS AGO

Beverly, Richie and Tom (his brother) are all alone in a big  room with vintage furniture. They are wearing nice clothes. The clothes you wear for a nice Thanksgiving day with your extended family.

They are in the middle of an argument.

TOM

I just want you to fucking admit that you’re a fucking creep who made a pass at his own brother’s wife!

RICHIE

Dude, I swear to God, we were literally just hanging out!

TOM

How do you expect me to believe that?

RICHIE

Bev, can you back me up here?

Beverly doesn’t meet his eyes, she looks down at her hands and answers:

BEVERLY

I don’t know, Richie...

With that, Richie almost screams in desperation.

RICHIE

You were there!

She screams back:

BEVERLY

I was  drunk !

The room gets quiet at once. Richie looks as if he doesn’t believe what he just heard, he looks hurt and betrayed. His brother gets near her, he wraps his arm protectively around her shoulder, looking proud of himself. She looks hurt for saying what she said, but she doesn’t back down.

RICHIE

Do you think I’d - How can you- What are you even implying?

BEVERLY

I’m not implying anything! I’m saying that I don’t know! You were drunk too, Richie, I mean, we were- we were both drunk.

RICHIE

I would never even consider coming on to you, in any way. Fuck that you’re my brother’s wife, I mean, that doesn’t mean anything. Bev, you‘re my friend . That has to  mean  something.

The are a few seconds of silence, Beverly opens her mouth to speak, and then she closes it. She hesitates.

BEVERLY

(almost in a whisper)

Richie, Stan was your friend too.

And the room goes quiet again. Richie looks hurt, and dizzy, and his eyes don’t meet the camera, or Beverly, or his brother.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. RESTAURANT TABLE - NIGHT 1.

We’re back at the table, Richie welcomes us with a raised wine glass, and a smile.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Cheers to friendship!

The camera opens even more, we reveal there are also EDDIE and an UNFAMILIAR WOMAN (Myra), who looks exactly like his father’s girlfriend. Richie gestures at them.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I don’t know who these people are.

As he says that, Eddie has a mouthful of bread, and from across the table, his mom takes the rest of it from his plate with a fork.

MRS. K

Eddie-bear, don’t you eat that much bread. Then you won’t be hungry for dinner!

Richie turns cheerfully to the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Okay! That’s either her son or their boy toy.

EDDIE

(to his mom)

Mommy !

RICHIE

(To camera)

Still inconclusive.

Everyone at the table just keeps eating bread, drinking and smiling, without really making real conversation.

RICHIE

(to camera)

And that -

(points at Myra)

must be her sister.

As he says that, Myra takes Eddie’s face in her hands.

MYRA

(to Eddie, with a childish voice)

You listen to me, young man, you’re not eating any more bread.

RICHIE

(to camera, he is cringing)

Uh...

And Myra gives Eddie a peck on the lips. Richie turns to the camera, with his mouth hanging open in excitement.

RICHIE

(enthusiastically to camera)

Boy toy’s literally married to his mamma.

As that happens, Richie’s dad clears his throat. He is about to speak.

DAD

It means a great deal to both of us that you... that we...

(gets a little emotional)

Are all here together... for this very special family... gang bang...

Richie looks at camera, cringing.

DAD

Just... being here... I... I just.. The feeling that I have... is... right in... I just want to say that...

His girlfriend, Mrs K, takes his hand over the table, in a patronising way.

MRS. K

What he wants to say is that we’re engaged.

She holds up her hand, showing her engagement ring.

Everyone at the table starts cheering and clapping their hands. Everyone except for Richie and his brother, who both look clearly terrified. But a few seconds later, his brother’s face turns into a smile and he joins in  to  the cheering. Richie doesn’t.

B EVERLY

Congratulations, oh my god!

TOM

Yeah, old man, I’m happy for you. Best decision a man can make.

Beverly and Tom smile smugly at each other.

Richie rolls his eyes at the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Ugh.

EDDIE

Mommy, uh- That’s uh- a surprise. I‘m really- uh- surprised.

MYRA

Yes, Mrs. Kaspbrak, congratulations. We're happy for you.

Suddenly everyone seems to turn to Richie, because... He has to say something too, right?

RICHIE

Dad...! That’s s...! Wow! It’s good to know that you’re marrying a woman you barely know, so soon after your wife of 40 years died tragically of cancer.

Richie pauses, he looks around, everyone is staring at him. A memory immediately takes over him:

INT. COUNTRY HOUSE - HALLWAY - FLASHBACK - 1 YEAR AGO

The camera is facing the stairs of a beautiful country house, full of windows. Suddenly, we see Richie climbing up the stairs in a hurry. He is wearing black pants, and a black shirt. His face is red, like he is holding up tears.

He walks into a broad hallway, full of doors. The camera follows him.

He opens a door, revealing his dad also in all-black, laying awake on a bed, staring at the sealing. Tears are dropping down his face and his hands folded on his torso. The camera takes its time to wander over Richie’s dad’s body and face, it zooms in on his tears, dropping by the the side of his ear. He doesn't seem to acknowledge that someone opened the door. At the sight, Richie slams the door shut, and keeps walking down the hallway.

He opens another door, revealing a huge bathroom with both a tub and a shower, in a 1920s European-like architecture. There's a curly-haired man, wearing all-black clothes and peeing in the toilet, his back to the camera and to Richie. We see Richie sighing in relief at the sight of him. He goes in the bathroom and closes the door quietly. He sits down on the broad, white counter-top where the sink lies.

RICHIE

Shit, Stan the man. I couldn't find you anywhere. Where the fuck were you?

The man, STANLEY, only then realises that someone's walked in. He closes his trousers’ fly in a hurry.

STAN

Goddammit, Richie. I'm peeing!

He flushes the toilet and turns around. We see his face for the first time. His face drops when he sees the state Richie is in. Richie seems to realise that, because as soon as they lock eyes, tears start dropping down Richie's cheeks.

Stan doesn't say a thing. He walks to the sink, next to Richie, and washes his hands. He sits down on the counter-top as well, on the other side of the sink. We're now facing a frame of Richie and Stan both sitting on the counter, a sink between them.

Stan looks at his friend. Richie reaches down to his pocket, takes a cigarette and lights it.

STAN

I'm sorry I vanished, it took me years to find a bathroom. So many useless rooms and doors...

RICHIE

Yeah, I've always hated this house. Mom did, too. She was always telling dad to sell it.

Stan nods. They fall into silence.

RICHIE

I hate that her dead body is downstairs. I keep waiting for her to wake up from a nap or something.

STAN

Such a stupid idea to have a funeral in your country house... Rich people are weird.

RICHIE

Right?? They... Uh... Named me Richie after all.

Stan rolls his eyes soundly at him. There are tears dropping down Richie's face, even though he is sort of laughing at his own joke. He sniffs and, for that, he apologizes:

RICHIE

Sorry, I'm- I'm so drunk right now.

Stan frowns at him.

STAN

I thought we had agreed on no drinking for today. Alcohol is-

RICHIE

(mimicking Stan)

The worst way of dealing with grief, I know! I'm fucking aware of that, Stan!

Richie stares at the camera.

RICHIE

(to the camera)

That didn't stop me from filling my water bottle with vodka.

Of course Stan can't hear what Richie's said to the camera, but he comes up with the realisation on his own, it seems to hit him like a punch in the face.

STAN

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! The water bottle! You put vodka in the water bottle!

RICHIE

Yep , too late though. I've already drunk it all.

STAN

Richie ...

And then, Richie is sobbing.

RICHIE

I threw up downstairs, you know. In front of everyone. Tom dragged me into the kitchen and fucking screamed at me for making a show, for stealing everyone's attention from mom, for making it all about me like I always do.

Richie is crying, Stan takes his hand from across the sink.

STAN

All of that happened while I was trying to find a bathroom?

Richie laughs between his sobs. He nods.

RICHIE

And the worst part is that it didn't help, Stan. It was aching inside of me. It was weighing me down . It was hurting me, as if it would just cut me open. So, I threw it up but it was still there! And I still don't know what to do with it.

Stanley is staring at him, with a sympathetic, confused look. He still hasn't let go of his friend's hand.

STAN

... With what?

RICHIE

With all the... Love I have for her.

(pause)

I don't know where to put it now.

Stan takes a deep breath, he doesn’t know what to say. But then he makes his mind.

STAN

I’ll... I’ll take it.

Richie stares at him for a few seconds, then he starts laughing so hard that his tears of sorrow end up getting mixed up with tears of laughter.

STAN

... No, I’m serious! It sounds... Nice. It really does. (Pause) You can give it to me if you want.

He squeezes Richie’s hand. Richie is not laughing anymore. They lock eyes for a few seconds. Until Richie smiles, trying to break the ice.

RICHIE

That was so gay, dude.

Stan rolls his eyes, and then he laughs. Richie breaks his hand free from Stan's grip to poke him on the chest with his index, as he says playfully:

RICHIE

You saying that, while holding my hand... Are you going gay for me, Stanny?

Stan, again, rolls his eyes. Slaps Richie’s fingers with his hands.

STAN

You wish!

Richie smiles, Stan smiles. They fall into silence.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. RESTAURANT TABLE - NIGHT 1

We're back with Richie and his family at the table. The scene starts off exactly from the moment before Richie's flashback. He looks taken aback from the memory. Everyone at the table is staring at him with blank faces. As if they were waiting for him to finish his 'speech'. Richie mumbles a great deal, until he speaks in a clear voice. Putting on a fake smile.

RICHIE

... I am... Literally, so happy for you. That’s wonderful. To know that you’re moving on. And finding... Love.

And the table  starts  cheering, as if he  had  just made a beautiful speech. He gives the camera a  look.

Eddie,  sitting next to him, turns to him.

EDDIE

So, your mom died of cancer?

Everyone turns their eyes to them.

RICHIE

Yes...?

EDDIE

My dad too. Cancer in his kidneys... I was only a kid.

Eddie’s mom rolls her eyes.

MRS. K

He basically gave himself cancer. His dad was an  alcoholic.

Eddie averts his eyes. Richie notices that he is hurt by his mother’s words.

RICHIE

No, shit, really?  So am I!

And he takes a big swing at his glass of wine, filled to the top, drinking it all down at once as if it were a shot.

And, then, Beverly is laughing, snorting her drink as if she simply can’t hold herself, Tom sends her a warning look. Eddie starts laughing along too, Myra sends him a warning look. The rest of the people at the table are just tense.

A waitress approaches the table:

WAITRESS

Does anyone want to order?

JUMP CUT TO:

EXT. BACK OF RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1 - LATER

Richie is leaning  his  head against a wall. One hand has a cigarette in it. He exhales deeply.

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1

Richie is back with Beverly, Tom, his dad, Mrs. K, Eddie and Myra at the table.

DAD

(to the waitress)

I think everyone would like some more wine, right?

EDDIE

Yes please! I’d love some wine.

MYRA

Eddie , you’ve already had enough. You know how gassy you get when you drink more than one glass...

Eddie nods. There's awkward silence, until Beverly breaks it:

BEVERLY

We’re not having any either.

TOM

Yeah, it’s not that we’re the  people with alcohol problems  in this family, but we quit.

Richie turns to the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Smooth...

BEVERLY

And with my new responsibilities at my job... I got a major promotion a few months ago, so.

DAD

What does that have to do with drinking...?

Mrs. K takes his hand, in an attempt to passive-aggressively shut him up.

MRS. K

What do you work  in, darling?

BEVERLY

I’m a Fashion designer.

MYRA

Oh, where do you-

But then, Tom interrupts. Kind of punching the table with his fists, getting everyone's attention to him. Everyone turns to him, except for Richie who turns with a  knowing   look to the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He hates it when people are too interested in Bev's successful career, so he does  that --

And then, Tom is talking.

TOM

We're trying for a baby. That's why we're not drinking.

Even Richie, who was expecting Tom to say something flashy, to get everyone's attention from Beverly, looks surprised. Beverly shots Tom a sharp look. Richie tries to meet her eyes. She notices, but she avoids his look.

Everyone but Richie start cheering.

MRS. K

Oh, sweetie. But I thought your dad had told me you guys...

Dad gives her a subtle warning look.

MRS. K

... Couldn't.

BEVERLY

What? Why?

Dad mumbles.

DAD

Uh... It's just... Uh...

But Mrs. K interrupts him, with a subtle glance and squeeze of hands.

MRS. K

Don't blame  him.

(to Beverly)

It's just that you seem a little - old. For that. You know, our biological clock ticks faster each day.

Awkward silence. Beverly doesn't know what to say.

TOM

Uh... They say a lifestyle change can help. So... We're doing just that!

DAD

That’s SO exciting, son! Good luck.

EDDIE

Yeah, that's amazing. I've always wanted a kid, too. It must be nice.

MRS. K

I would never allow my son's wife   to   get pregnant in her 40s, though. I'm sorry. But the chances of maternal mortality when a woman is over 40 increases drastically. And only the thought of her dying while giving birth and leaving a child for my Eddie to raise  all on his own ... He can barely take care of himself!

Richie  widens  his eyes at the camera.

Myra takes Eddie's hand over the table  and   says with a big smile:

MYRA

As long as you have lots of money for real help - which is not our case, since Eddie seems to spend all of our money in useless junk - I think it's alright to at least try...

MRS. K

Yes, I imagine it must be really harsh without some expensive help. Nearly impossible. And very, very dangerous and reckless.

Tom, Beverly and Dad are subtly staring at Eddie with looks of 'poor guy'. Richie can't do that because he is sitting right beside him. There's awkward silence at the table.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Poor guy. I'd like to thank him for his service, though. Because no-one’s asked me a question in forty-five min-

He is interrupted by Eddie, who turns to him:

EDDIE

(To Richie)

So, what do you do?

Everyone stops what they're doing   and  stare at Richie.

He's shocked. He looks at Eddie.

RICHIE

I'm a comedian.

Behind him, Tom rolls his eyes.

TOM

He owns a  bar.

Richie doesn't turn to his brother, he keeps looking at Eddie.

RICHIE

I'm a  comedian who owns a bar.

EDDIE

That's cool...

TOM

(to Eddie)

It's not like being a comedian pays his bills...

His dad shakes his  head  in disapproval of Richie.

DAD

It really doesn't.

Tom opens his mouth to speak again, but Eddie quickly interrupts by turning to Richie again.

EDDIE

Well, good. Because you're really not funny, so...

And Richie is laughing, Eddie smiles at him sympathetically.

RICHIE

Oh, yeah? You should see my bar. It's bird themed.

Eddie chuckles. The rest of the table watches incredulously their exchange. No one knows what to say.

Their waitress approaches the table.

WAITRESS

Can I get anyone any... ice?

CUT TO:

EXT. BACK OF RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1

Richie now has his forehead against the brick wall. He exhales cigarette smoke.

Up the stairs, by Richie's side, Eddie appears from the restaurant door in a hurry. He rushes down the stairs, stopping at the last step.

Richie turns to him.

RICHIE

(in a horrible British accent)

Fellow smoker...

EDDIE

Do I look like someone who would voluntarily give themselves lung cancer, asshole?

Eddie is hyperventilating. He sits down on the step. Richie just stares at him with his mouth hanging open.

EDDIE

What ?

Ri chie averts his eyes, he takes a drag at his cigarette.

RICHIE

Nothing, nothing, you're just a bit... Different, that's all.

EDDIE

How so?

RICHIE

I don't know, I guess you... Speak kinda differently when your  moms  -- When your mom and your wife are not around. It took me by surprise.

EDDIE

You don't even fucking know me, dipshit.

Richie just shrugs. He takes another drag. Eddie takes his inhaler from his pocket and inhales deeply.

RICHIE

Do you have to go outside to use that?

Eddie doesn't answer, his mouth is occupied.

RICHIE

I knew they wouldn't stop when they prohibited cigarettes in inside places... That's crazy, dude... It's political correctness gone mad ...

Eddie gives him a killing look.

EDDIE

Can't you fucking shut the fuck up for one fucking second?

And Richie is quiet.

RICHIE

(to camera)

That's a lot of ' fucks'. I wonder if he breaks that record in bed.

Eddie sighs. There’s silence.

EDDIE

It - it makes sense - this thing you’re saying, though. Asthma inhalers release good amounts of greenhouse gas, so...

Richie looks surprised by the input  and  clearly thinks of a joke . H e finishes his drag on the cigarette and says:

RICHIE

Does that mean that your breath is basically cow fart right now?

Eddie looks at him with a mixture of anger and disbelief. And then, he is laughing. Richie watches it all with amusement, feeling proud of himself.

EDDIE

You’re such a fucking asshole.

Richie shrugs with a smile. They fall into silence for a few seconds - Richie  calm   with his cigarette, Eddie still hyperventilating with his inhaler.

RICHIE

So, that’s why you’re out here?

Eddie stares at him for a few seconds, looking unsure. He then lets out a sigh.

EDDIE

No, uh, no. My mom and Myra would freak out if I picked the inhaler up in front of them. They'd probably think I'm having an asthma attack and make a show in front of everyone. So here I am. That's fucking all.

Richie is surprised by the elaborated answer. He nods. He raises his cigarette.

RICHIE

(in a British accent again)

Cheers, mate. They sound-

But Richie is cut short by the sight of Eddie going up the stairs, making his exit. When he is almost at the door of the restaurant, Richie says lightly:

RICHIE

Fuck you, then.

Eddie stops and turns to look at him. Incredulous.

Eddie, then, smiles. The other man smiles back. And before Eddie turns to leave, he holds up his middle finger at Richie, who receives it with an even bigger smile.

And then, Eddie exits.

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1  - CONTINUOUS

The people at the table are chatting happily, eating their main meals. Richie's plate lays untouched, he hasn't returned to the table yet.

Until he does. He sits down.

DAD

So, Richie. I was just saying that I want you boys to be my best men.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Old people don't have friends.

RICHIE

(to Dad)

Oh ? Tom and I?

RICHIE

(to camera)

He didn't even wait for me to get back to make that announcement, that's how much he loves me.

DAD

More like Eddie and you.

Richie frowns.

RICHIE

Oh...?

Richie gives the camera a confused look.

DAD

Tom here is too busy running one of the most important law firms in New York city, so I thought I'd be thoughtful and spare him of responsibilities. And since... You only work at nights... Not even  every night...

Richie nods at him, and then turns to the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

It all makes sense now.

TOM

But I'm still making a best man speech, right?

DAD

Of course! You'll be the last to speak. They always say the last speech is the only one everyone remembers, right?

Richie gives the camera a  look.

Eddie clears his throat.

EDDIE

Uh- I work at days, you know.  Every  day. Not like every day, but, uh, from Mondays to Fridays...

MRS. K

Eddie-bear , you're my  only  son. So you'll be my double agent and act both as best man and man of honor. It's the least you can do.

Eddie looks down at his plate.

EDDIE

Okay, mommy...

RICHIE

(to camera)

I kind of see why old people really don't have friends.

HARD CUT TO:

EXT. BACK OF RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1  - LATER

Richie, again, is outside having a cigarette.

He stares at the camera for a few seconds. His dad comes outside. Richie sends him a questioning look.

DAD

Just a breath of air...

Richie nods. They stand outside. They don’t know what to say to each other. Richie offers him a drag of his cigarette, with a gesture of hands. His dad shakes his head.

DAD

(points at his son's cigarette)

Aren't you about the age to start worrying about cancer and quit?

Richie just shrugs.

RICHIE

I don't know - I have to put all the money I spend on health insurance to use at some point, so... I might as well get some cancer.

His dad is unsure if that's a joke, so he just nods. He is clearly desperate to say something.

DAD

Look, son, I - I missed your birthday.

RICHIE

It's okay.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He always does.

DAD

I just. I got you -

And his dad is holding an envelope.

DAD

In case you were struggling.

Richie frowns at him. But then he turns to the camera, with a completely clean face:

RICHIE

(to camera)

He gives me money every year because he doesn’t know me well enough to go out and buy me something.

RICHIE

(to his dad)

Dad, the bar is doing amazing, really. It's going very well.

RICHIE

(to camera)

It actually is .

RICHIE

(to Dad)

I don't— I don’t need -

DAD

Oh, no! Just - that’s not for work or - it’s just for... You.

Richie smiles. He takes the envelope.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I'd never turn down money, I was just being polite.

RICHIE

(to Dad)

Thanks.

DAD

So, are you - are you okay?

Richie deliberates for a second, and then he is chuckling nervously into his cigarette.

RICHIE

Of course, dad. Why wouldn't I be?

DAD

You know, with everything that... That... Happened to your friend...

The camera zooms in  on   Richie. He doesn't look at it. A memory takes over him.

INT. A SMALL BATHROOM  - FLASHBACK  - 6 MONTHS AGO

The flashback is quick but devastating. The camera focuses on a door. By the side of the frame, we can see a sink. From outside, we can hear Richie saying:

RICHIE (O.S.)

Honey, I'm home early. I really need to take a shi-

And he opens the door. As soon as he does that, he stops talking, he is in absolute shock. The camera opens, to reveal his friend Stan passed out in the tub. The tub is full of water, and bubbles, there's a single line of blood floating with the water.

END OF FLASHBACK.

EXT. BACK OF RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1

We are back with Richie and his dad, outside the restaurant.

DAD

I really thought you were healing, but after thanksgiving...

RICHIE

(ironically, to camera)

Best thanksgiving of my life.

INT.  COUNTRY HOUSE -  DINING-ROOM - THANKSGIVING DAY  - FLASHBACK  - 4 AND A HALF MONTHS AGO

It's the same day that Richie had that huge argument with his brother and Beverly. He is wearing the same clothes, but he looks way drunker, and his shirt is wide open, exposing his chest. Revealing that this is some hours after the argument.

There are lots of people - his extended family - in a huge dining room, of a beautiful country house.

He stands up and taps on an empty glass with a fork, to get everyone's attention.

RICHIE

Excuse me, everyone.

(clears throat, he hasn't stopped tapping on the glass )

I'd like to make an announcement.

The room goes quiet and everyone looks at him. He says drunkenly:

RICHIE

I just wanna say that when I was fifteen, I made a very difficult promise to myself. It was more like a bet, a goal! Something hard, that I knew from the bottom of my heart that I'd have to work night and day to achieve. But today I did it! I actually did it and I'm  so proud of myself.

Everyone at the room claps their hands, a bit confused. He keeps going:

RICHIE

When I was fifteen  , I promised myself that I'd have sex with every single cousin of legal age of this family. And today, 23 years later, I'm proud to say that I just fucked the last one left.

(pause)

Just one tiny clue... She just got engaged.

Everyone in the room is staring at him in shock. Someone drops a glass to the floor. No one even moves.

END OF FLASHBACK.

EXT. BACK OF RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1

We're back with Richie and his dad outside the restaurant. His dad keeps going.

DAD

... I was very worried about you.

Richie shrugs.

RICHIE

I thought you were disappointed. Ashamed or something.

DAD

(he raises his voice)

I was  worried.

And then, there's silence for a few seconds.

RICHIE

Are we going to have a fight?

DAD

No, it’s just - I wanted to check that you were - that you and I were - you’re being very... Quiet tonight.

Richie chuckles. And then, he just shrugs.

RICHIE

I guess...

DAD

Why?

Richie deliberates, he takes another drag and then he says genuinely:

RICHIE

Because... It really...

His dad surprisingly, lets out a laugh.

DAD

Yes?

RICHIE

... It really doesn’t matter.

And his dad looks suddenly hurt.

DAD

Oh. Well... I -

(pause)

Okay.

They fall into silence. Richie  has   finished with his cigarette, he takes another one.

RICHIE

I’m happy for you, Dad.

Another pause.

DAD

Thank you, son.

His dad takes a step closer to him, it seems like he's going to hug him, but he ends up only patting him awkwardly on the shoulder, and he exits.

Richie is left staring at the camera, he blows ou smoke at it.

INT. INSIDE THE RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1 - CONTINUOUS

When Richie returns to the table, people are talking and eating  dessert . He sits down without saying anything.

MRS. K

... So, I take my Catholic upbringings very seriously. I was very proud of my son when he agreed to make that choice. And I couldn't be more disappointed when he gave it all up.

Eddie is looking down at his  dessert , messing with it with his spoon. Richie is not curious enough to ask anything about the choice his future step-mother is talking about.

MYRA

Eddie is still very religious, though. He prays every night. He goes to church...

Eddie chokes on his  dessert .

TOM

(to Eddie)

Isn't praying just, like, talking to yourself in the dark?

Eddie looks up, with a fake smile, and says, automatically, as if he had that answer rehearsed. As if he doesn't really mean it.

EDDIE

I believe that it's just more about connecting with yourself at the end of the day, like meditation. It takes effort but it’s a good way to -

BEVERLY

Yes, I completely agree. Positive energy takes work. In the last 3 months I have mastered it. I just take all the negative feelings and just bottle them and bury them. And they never come out. Ever.

EDDIE

Uh...

BEVERLY

I’ve basically never been better!

She glances subtly at Richie. Who raises his eyebrows at her, Tom notices the exchange.

DAD

(taking  Mrs  K's hand)

Us neither!

TOM

(staring directly at his brother)

I couldn't feel better!

MYRA

Oh, you're such a positive family. It's a rare thing these days.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Hell yeah. Positive just like that one huge snort of cocaine that hits you the wrong way, and leaves you euphoric, but slightly dead inside.

MRS. K

Absolutely.

BEVERLY

I think it’s all about positivity. It takes real commitment to be this happy. It’s not just drinking and eating well either. Putting brazilian nuts in your salad doesn’t make you an adult.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Of course it does.

But then Beverly let’s out a muffled sigh.

BEVERLY

(To Richie)

You’re being SO quiet. Why aren’t you saying anything?!

Tom gives her a sharp look, but she doesn’t turn to meet it. There's a pause on everything that's going on in the table. Richie replies gently:

RICHIE

What do you want me to say?

BEVERLY

Anything -

(she points at the envelope in Richie's hand)

W hat’s that in your hand?

DAD

Um... He doesn't have to --

RICHIE

It's a birthday present from Dad.

MRS. K

It's just the nicest, right thing for you, Richie.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Oh, yeah. And she just fucking met me today.

TOM

Is it money?

DAD

No. It’s --

TOM

(to Richie)

What is it?

RICHIE

I don't know!

Richie starts opening it, but he's looking up at the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

It's money.

DAD

Richie, you don't have to --

And then, Richie pulls out a piece of paper and reads it. He glares at the camera completely confused. It's not money.

DAD

It’s just because you - you’re - um.

RICHIE

It’s a coupon for a counselling session.

There's a pause, everyone is staring right at him.

RICHIE

Thanks, dad.

Everyone feels a bit weird about this. Tom can't help but laugh.

MYRA

That's so thoughtful.

MRS. K

Yes, Richie. Your dad knows you so well.

EDDIE

I'd uh... I'd kill for one of those.

MRS. K

Don't say that, Eddie-bear. Therapists are for mentally ill people. No need to have a therapist messing with your head when you can talk to your mom, to your wife and to your priest.

Richie gives a camera a  look,  acknowledging her implications.  Eddie just nods.

BEVERLY

Uh... I don’t believe you can pay your problems away. I think you have to face who you are and suffer the consequences. It’s the only road to happiness.

RICHIE

Maybe happiness isn’t in  what  you believe, but who you believe.

Beverly gives him a look. Eddie looks at Richie. Tom looks at Beverly, and sees her staring at Richie. There is a beat of tension. Until Tom bursts, punching the table slightly.

TOM

(to Richie)

What do you fucking mean by that?

RICHIE

Oh, you know well enou--

BEVERLY

Boys , please.

And Tom snaps his head to Beverly's direction.

TOM

What ? Do you want a threesome or something, or do you prefer to have Richie all to yourself?

And then there's a killing silence at the table. Dad lets his spoon drop to the floor. Tom closes his eyes, he doesn't have the courage to turn his head to look at the people at the table. Beverly has her mouth hanging open. Richie mumbles a silent  'fuck'  under his breath.

Tom takes a deep breath, he opens his eyes, and he turns to the table. He lets out a dramatic laugh.

TOM

I was kidding, that was a joke.

And suddenly, Beverly and Richie are laughing too, going along with it. The three of them start talking in rushed, nervous, voices. One after the other, as if there couldn't be one gap of silence or the whole earth would crack under them.

RICHIE

Fuck , our stupid inside jokes.

At this point, the rest of the people at the table are kind-of laughing nervously along.

TOM

No one really gets our humor.

BEVERLY

Oh, yeah, we, uh, we have dinner together every, uh, week, so we joke around a lot.

TOM

Plenty of time to make up lots of inside jokes.

RICHIE

And we're so comfortable with incest, aren't we?

TOM

It's the best taboo to joke around about!

RICHIE

Remember the one time the three of us took it too far and ended up making out?

And the table is shocked again. Some other spoon falls to the ground. Richie's mouth is hanging open, as if he doesn't believe that he just said that. Tom and Beverly just stare at him, looking absolutely weirded out. Richie turns again to the table.

RICHIE

That... Was another joke right there.

And he is laughing. Tom and Beverly follow right after. The rest of the people soundly let out sighs of relief, followed by nervous laughter. Richie finger guns them.

RICHIE

Gotcha! You should've seen your faces!

There's a few seconds of nervous, awkward laughter. Until Beverly stands up in a rush. Her chair  makes   a lot of noise.

Beverly

Shit !

(pause)

Sorry. Excuse me.

And she suddenly leaves the table. And no one is laughing anymore. No one knows what to say. The waitress approaches the table.

WAITRESS

Oh! Do you think she needs anything?

EVERYONE

NO!

She backs away, looking embarrassed. Dad decides to point at the paper still in Richie's hand.

DAD

That was supposed to be a bedroom present.

EDDIE

A what?

DAD

A present you open in your bedroom, alone.

Eddie gives him an ‘oh' expression.

MRS. K

You were the best bedroom present I've ever received, Eddie-bear.

Myra turns to him and squeezes his cheeks with one hand.

MYRA

I can say just the  same.

Richie gives the camera a  look. But then he frowns, looking visibly worried, and looks towards the bathroom.

INT. COOL RESTAURANT - BATHROOM -  CONTINUOUS

Richie walks in a fancy, empty bathroom. All cubicles are open, but one.

RICHIE

Bev...?

Richie stands by the sinks for a second. Beverly, in the one cubicle that is occupied, sighs.

BEVERLY (O.S)

What are you doing in here, Richie? It’s the women’s bathroom.

RICHIE

I know! But you’ve been avoiding me and -

BEVERLY (O.S.)

You should get back to the table, what are people going to think?

RICHIE

I told them I was going out for a smoke .

And then there's a few  seconds  of silence, Richie looks visibly anxious. Until we hear Beverly  sigh  again in the cubicle.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Well, I’m busy.

RICHIE

What , are you taking a dump or something?

BEVERLY (O.S.)

No !

(beat)

I'm just -- can you just -- pass me a sanitary napkin?

He mouths an 'oh' of realization, and even thinks about making a joke, but he decides against it. He looks around at the sinks, looking for it.

RICHIE

Do they just keep those things in bathrooms?

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Sometimes they do...

He keeps looking, but he doesn't find any.

RICHIE

There aren't any in here. Um... I could ask the waitress...?

BEVERLY (O.S.)

No . Fuck…!

RICHIE

Or... There are some solid paper towels here. You could improvise.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Yes. Fine.

Richie gets plenty of towels and approaches the cubicle.

RICHIE

Are you opening the door?

BEVERLY

No.

RICHIE

Uh... How are we doing this, then?

BEVERLY

Just throw it in, and I'll catch it.

RICHIE

Can't you reach for it? Bev, it’s period, it’s not going to bite me.

And her hand pops up from the top of the cubicle, reaching up for the paper. Her hand is covered in blood.

Richie jumps back.

RICHIE

What the fuck?

BEVERLY

Don't look at it , just give me the paper!

RICHIE

I’m not looking at your period. Just take this -

And puts the paper on her hand. She retracts it immediately. There's a few seconds of silence, he returns to his comfortable spot by the sinks.

But then the door opens, and Beverly leaves the cubicle. She walks towards the sinks to wash her  bloodied  hands. Richie peaks once at the open cubicle and then, he looks again, absolutely shocked.

RICHIE

Oh, shit. Oh, fuck. Is that  normal?

Beverly sighs, unsure. She keeps her eyes on the following water. Until she speaks, in some sort of burst of courage:

BEVERLY

It’s not a period, okay? It’s a miscarriage.

There's a pause. Richie is looking at her, completely shocked, she just keeps washing her hands.

RICHIE

Holy fuck.

BEVERLY

It’s  okay .

RICHIE

Is it? What the -- we should- we should clean that up - no, no, no - we need to get you to a hospital.

BEVERLY

It’s fine. I just need -

And Richie is getting more paper towels in a hurry, and approaching the cubicle. Beverly jumps in front of it, blocking the entrance.

BEVERLY

No !

He is trying to walk around her.

RICHIE

There’s so much blood - let me -

BEVERLY

Richie, I said no!

RICHIE

Let me help you!

BEVERLY

(and she says in a hard tone)

You are not  getting your hands

(pause)

On my miscarriage .

He just stares at her, mouth hanging open, towels in hands. She gets the towels from his hands in a beat.

BEVERLY

It's mine !

And she goes back in the cubicle in a hurry. Before she closes the door, she looks at Richie and emotion comes to the surface for a split second.

Beverly

(more gently)

It's mine...!

And she shuts the door on his face.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

I can clean it on my own.

Richie returns to his spot. He waits. He wants to say something, looks as if he is gathering the courage to. Until he does:

RICHIE

You should - We should - we need to get to a hospital. Now.

(pause, he says more gently)

Now .

There is no answer.

RICHIE

Bev, please .

Another pause.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Okay, let me just finish here. You can go back to the table.

RICHIE

What? No! I can wait for you.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Richie . You know we probably shouldn’t arrive at the table together.

He looks hurt for a split second. But he decides not to argue.

RICHIE

Okay. But as soon as we're back there, we're leaving.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Tom can't know.

He deliberates. He decides not to ask questions. So, he starts talking fast, like a maniac.

RICHIE

He - he doesn't have to. We can make excuses... Like, different excuses, and we're going, okay? --- Shit... You should go first, and I'll go like 5 minutes later, so Tom won't suspect of anything. You just say you're not feeling well, grab your coat. Get a taxi, wait for me outside, and I'll say I have the runs or something -- Shit, this sounds like a hook up call.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Richie, just go!

RICHIE

Okay, okay, okay. Are you sure you don't need --

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Just go!

And he nods, even though she can't see him. And he leaves.

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1 - CONTINUOUS

Moments later. Richie is already sitting at his spot at the table. Everyone's talking about something, but he's not listening. He looks uneasy, waiting for Beverly to show up.

Until she does. She moves behind her chair and puts her hand on her coat.

Then she suddenly sits down and lunges for the bottle of wine.

BEVERLY

I think I'm having some.

Richie tries to meet her eyes, she doesn't even look at him.

BEVERLY

(to Tom)

Sorry, darling.

MYRA

It's nice having one night off, y'know. It won't kill you.

Beverly pours herself some wine. And she takes a swing until the glass is empty, and pouring some more.

TOM

Whoa, what happened in that bathroom?

BEVERLY

(to Tom)

I got my period. It means that I’m not pregnant. Pregnancy plan failed again. I need alcohol .

Richie keeps trying to meet her eyes. Until he decides to stand up.

RICHIE

So -- um --- I think I have the -

BEVERLY

No ! Just - just sit down. Come on, it’s a party. Aren't you the proud alcoholic?

Richie doesn't sit.

RICHIE

I'm not --- proud. I just - y’know - have  serenity to  accept the things I don’t want to change.

EDDIE

(pointing at the bottle in Bev's hand)

Can I have some?

MYRA

(raises her voice)

How many times do I have to tell you that you've had enough ?

He  shoots  her a look. His mom  shoots  him a look. Dad suddenly laughs, in complete amusement.

DAD

Well, everyone suddenly got in the party spirit!

Everyone ignores him. The table is all tense.

TOM

(to Richie)

Sit down!

RICHIE

I'm not sitting down!

BEVERLY

(in a hard tone)

Sit down!

And he sits down. Tom sends him a confused, hard look. And then, the same look travels to his wife.

DAD

Should I order another bottle?

BEVERLY

Yes!

TOM

Hell yeah, old man!

Dad gestures at the waitress. Richie looks at Beverly in shock.

MRS. K

We were just talking about Venice, we were planning to go there for our honeymoon, the only things stopping us are those horrible rats everywhere-

TOM

(to Beverly)

How many times have we said that we have to go to Venice?

BEVERLY

(tense)

I’ve always wanted to go! Top of my list.

The conversation builds round the table until -

RICHIE

Seriously, what the actual fuck, can you stop?

Everyone looks at him, shocked.

Pause.

Beverly glances at him. No one says anything. They just look at Richie, confused.

EDDIE

(to Richie)

Dude, are you okay?

RICHIE

Yeah, I'm - uh.

Beverly shakes her head at Richie.

TOM

(rolls his eyes)

And here comes the show...

RICHIE

(looking directly at Beverly)

Sorry, I...

EDDIE

No, come on, dude. Did something happen?

BEVERLY

Nothing happened. He's probably just drunk.

TOM

He's always drunk!

MYRA

I have some Advil if you want...

MRS. K

Maybe some Oxycontin would be better...? I have some in my purse.

DAD

... what's happened, son?

Whilst all that is happening, Richie is just watching it all, with his mouth hanging open. He is staring at Beverly all the way through, looking for something to say. She just gives him a look... ‘don’t you dare tell them’.

RICHIE

I - just had a -

DAD

You had a -

And Richie is panicking.

RICHIE

I just... Had a... -

TOM

What ?

RICHIE

A little...-

MRS. K

What, darling?

There's a pause, in which he mumbles. He can't think of anything. So, he says impulsively:

RICHIE

... Miscarriage.

And he frowns. He doesn't understand why he said that, and he regrets it immediately after. He looks horrified at himself. The whole table is frowning at him. Beverly in particular, just has her face buried in her hands. Everyone else just has a ' how ...?' expression in their faces. His dad doesn't ask questions, he just looks disappointed. Tom looks like he's about to burst in laughter.

A split second goes by, and Mrs. K decides to break the silence. She says, without judgment in her voice:

MRS. K

... Oh, do you have a uterus, dear? Your dad's never told me that.

Richie opens his mouth to answer, but then Eddie is speaking:

EDDIE

Mommy , you can't ask a person if they have a uterus right after they tell you they've had a  miscarriage .

And then, Mrs. K is about to talk, and Mr. Tozier is about to talk, but Richie decides that it's his turn:

RICHIE

No, no - uh - my  girlfriend's  had a miscarriage. Sorry, I - uh - she just called me when I was outside smoking.

MYRA

Oh my god.

DAD

Son, I'm so sorry.

MRS. K

How far gone was she?

RICHIE

... UH... about - uh - Six months...?

Beverly watches it all in disbelief. She mumbles an 'oh my god' under her breath.

A realization seems to hit Tom, who turns to his brother.

TOM

Oh my fucking god, little brother. After everything that's happened, did you get your friend 's girlfriend knocked up?

Richie stands up immediately. He can't believe that he's hearing that from his brother, of all people. He looks at Beverly with a look of mild hurt and disappointment, but she's looking down at her hands. A memory washes over him -

SERIES OF FLASHBACKS  - 7 MONTHS AGO.

These memories - the flashbacks - that wash over Richie, aren't linear.

It all starts with his friend Stan and him sitting at the couch in the - familiar - living room, eating pizza. Stan passes him his cellphone to show him something. He takes it.

STAN

That's her, what do you think?

RICHIE

Wow, Stan the Man, she's pretty hot. You could share...

Stan punches him on the arm.

STAN

Shut up, Richie. That's the love of my life.

And then, the scenario CHANGES. In the same living room, Richie, Stan and a woman - Patty - are sitting on the same couch, playing some board game. All three of them laughing together.

Another CHANGE of scenario. Now, Richie's no longer there. Patty and Stan are alone in the living room, they're kissing, like two people in love, who have all the time in the world.

The scenario CHANGES one last time. Patty and Richie are ALONE in the living room, they're kissing, like two people who are eager to have sex as fast as they can.

END OF  FLASHBACKS .

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT 1

We're back at the table, right before the flashback started. Richie is standing up, with a confrontational attitude, right in front of his brother, who's sitting down. The whole table watches them. He can't help but look at Beverly again.

RICHIE

(to Beverly)

... Did you - did you tell  him about that?

She doesn't meet his eyes. She is looking down at her hands. Tom just looks offended at that.

TOM

What the fuck, dude? She's my wife!  She tells me things! That's what married people do! What is even wrong with you?

Richie opens his mouth to speak, he doesn't know what to say. Tom laughs sarcastically at that.

TOM

God... You're so pathetic... That kid's actually got lucky big time.

Half of the table gasps in disgust.

DAD

Tom ...!

Neither Richie or Tom avert their eyes to the rest of the people at the table, they just stare at each other, as if they were the only people there. Tom is still sitting down, Richie is still standing up, next to his chair.

RICHIE

You know what, Tom? At least I don't have such a tiny nub for a dick that I have to compensate for it by beating my wife!

The people at the table gasp again. In the background, Beverly just  widens  her eyes immediately.

TOM

Oh, come on! Your wife??? You say that as if you weren't the fucking queer of the family.

As that happens, Richie turns to the camera for a  split   second, almost looking apologetic at it for what he's going to do next. He then closes his eyes for a second  and  takes a takes a long, deep, audible breath. He opens his eyes.

His head turns back to Tom and he punches him square in the face.

There is a scream from Dad and Beverly. Eddie stands up.

After the punch, Tom raises his hand really fast to his nose, he feels the drops of blood. And he hits back, just as hard. The punch is so hard that Richie stumbles back.

Eddie steps forward, he intends on standing almost between the two of them to stop the fight. Meanwhile, Richie, as he is stumbling back, prepares to take another hit at his brother but right before he throws the punch, Eddie is  in  his way, so he ends up hitting him instead. Eddie falls back  because of  the punch, and he ends up hitting Tom's face hard with his head. Mrs. K and Myra scream.

MYRA

Oh my god, Eddie!

More people turn and gasp.

RICHIE

Shit , I'm so sorry.

Eddie gets out of the way of the brothers, reaching for his bleeding nose. There's a silent agreement, sealed by several exchanges of looks between the brothers, that it's enough, the fight is over. But, for a few seconds, like a cold war, the peace is standing on thin ice, literally anything could break it.

So, Richie sighs, reaching forward for the chair right by Tom. And the fact that he does that too fast makes Tom think that he is attacking again, so Tom punches him again on the face.

RICHIE

Oh fuck. Holy shit.

He's so dizzy, he stumbles back, harder than before . He's about to fall to the floor. Eddie moves forward to stop him  from  falling but gets hit in the face by the back of his head.

At this point, the whole table is in shock, they can't stop gasping and screaming. Mrs. K has screamed so much that she passes out.

And with the people gasping at her fainted image, the scene ends.

INT. COOL RESTAURANT BATHROOM - NIGHT 1 - CONTINUOS.

The same moment as the opening.

WIDE SHOT of RICHIE from behind as he stands at a sink. His head is bowed down as he is washing his hands. We can’t see his face.

He looks up into the mirror.

We see that there is blood all over his mouth.

He takes a damp towel and wipes most of the blood off his mouth and nose.

There is a bang on the door. He ignores it.

WOMAN (MYRA)

Eddie-bear? Everyone's gone. I’m taking your mom home. She’s still shaken up.

EDDIE (O.S.)

I’ll take a taxi. Don’t worry about me!

Richie grabs a few tissues and hands them casually to the man, revealing his face. It’s, of course, Eddie. Who we discover is sitting, slumped on the floor with blood on his face and a bruised eye.

EDDIE

(with a shy gratefulness)

Thank you, jackass.

Eddie takes the tissues from Richie’s hand, Richie watches him wiping his own  bloodied   nose. Richie, then, smiles at him. And he returns to the mirror, checking his hair.

Someone knocks on the door. It's the waitress. She speaks:

WAITRESS

I brought you ice!

Richie smiles down at Eddie again, and walks to the door. He thanks the waitress, and closes the door with a glass full of ice in hands. He takes one ice  cube   and presses it again his nose. By the side of the frame, we see Eddie shaking his head, he is standing up.

EDDIE

That's not how you do it, idiot. You're going to burn yourself!

And he  takes  a great deal of paper towels by the sink, and  approaches  Richie.

RICHIE

What Dude, this is ice.

Eddie rolls his eyes.

EDDIE

Here -

He takes the single ice  cube  from Richie's hand gently, and wraps it up in tissue papers. He then, raises it to Richie's nose, gently. They're too close. A few seconds go by. It's nice, it's surprisingly comfortable. So, for his own good, Richie decides to intervene:

RICHIE

I should probably -

And he  takes  the wrapped up ice from Eddie's hand, to apply it on himself. Eddie blinks, looking embarrassed.

EDDIE

Oh, yeah, sure. Here -

Silently, Eddie gets more ice from the glass, he wraps  up  a few for himself. A split second of silence go by. Richie sighs, he decides to speak.

RICHIE

Hey, I’m sorry for bringing you into this mess.

Surprisingly, Eddie smiles sympathetically at him.

EDDIE

Oh, no. I’m blaming my mother for making me the third sibling, without warning me that you guys are psychos.

Richie turns to the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Third  step sibling.

And he turns to Eddie.

RICHIE

Not really sibling, though, right? I mean, we’re adults, you’re literally just the guy who happens to be my father’s fiancé’s son. Not really my sibling.

RICHIE

(to camera)

We probably could fuck, if we wanted. It would make no damn difference.

EDDIE

Oh, yeah, yeah, adult step siblings, then.

Richie nods, and then he shrugs.

EDDIE

Was that true, though?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

That your brother beats his wife.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Yes .

RICHIE

(to Eddie)

No...!

Eddie looks mildly relieved.

RICHIE

I just say that to piss him off, because he’s all alpha male all the time... Even though I wasn’t lying when I said he has a fucking nub for a penis. Almost a fucking clitoris.

Eddie laughs at that.  Richie  looks at  the  camera, he is proud of himself for making him laugh.

EDDIE

You’re such a trashmouth.

Richie  widens  his eyes, he looks suddenly a bit numb.

RICHIE

(a whisper)

What?

Eddie rolls his eyes.

EDDIE

I said you’re a trashmouth, asshole.

Richie  widens  his eye even more, he opens his mouth to speak, but he can’t. His mind wanders off to a memory.

EXT. A TYPICAL NYC BACKYARD - NIGHT -  FLASHBACK  - 2 YEARS AGO.

He is in the backyard of his bird themed bar - we’re seeing it for the first time- , there’s not much space and it’s surrounded by ugly buildings, but it’s cozy and there are flowers, nice tables made of wood and bird cages everywhere. Stan is sitting at one of tables, drinking a beer . Richie is feeding one of the birds.

RICHIE

I feel bad for locking all these free creatures in cages. In a good way, though. I kind of feel like god, on a Sunday, throwing a lightning right at a church full of good, humble people and killing everyone.

STAN

Beep-beep, Richie. The birds we keep here are  sick  birds. We take care of them, and then we let them go.

RICHIE

WHAT ? I thought we were jailing completely healthy birds until they were sick, so we can tell everyone we can’t free them because they’re too sick to survive on their own.

Stan rolls his eyes so bad, that Richie can actually hear it.

STAN

Shut the fuck up,  Trashmouth.

Richie hears that with amusement and sentiment.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. COOL RESTAURANT BATHROOM - NIGHT 1

We return to  the  scene right before the flashback. Richie returns to the present, he  swallows  loudly. Eddie is staring at him.

EDDIE

Are you okay? Oh shit, maybe he punched you so hard you had a concussion.

Richie turns to the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera, as if he was talking to Eddie but  not  really)

I wish you’d fuck me so hard I had a concussion.

(He pauses, he is surprised by himself)

Shit, where did  that come from?

Eddie is still looking at him weirdly.

EDDIE

Sorry, what?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

I don’t know, dumbass, you just looked distant for a few seconds, like, you looked ahead of me for some reason.

Richie looks at the camera and raises his eyebrows, looking impressed. Eddie looks back, trying to follow his look.

EDDIE

You did it  again!

RICHIE

What did I do ?

EDDIE

I don’t know, asshole!

Richie doesn’t know what to say. But he‘s feeling defensive, for some reason.

RICHIE

Maybe  you had a concussion.

Eddie, then, looks as if he’s had the worst epiphany of his life.

EDDIE

Holy shit, maybe I had a concussion!

Richie turns quickly to the camera.

RICHIE

(To camera)

I wish I’d fuck  you so hard you had a concussion.

Again, he has that ‘where did that come from‘ look on his face. As he says that to the camera, it takes a split second, but Eddie is turning his head, following Richie’s look.

EDDIE

Oh my god, it happened again! What the fuck, dude. I totally have a concussion.

Eddie starts walking around the room and hyperventilating, as if he is about to have a panic attack, or he’s already having one. He takes his inhaler from his pocket, at some point he drops it to the floor, and Richie comes near to pick it up. Until he realises that Eddie is about to faint, and he picks him up  in  the air. In a very messy way, because he was not expecting it, and the guy is too heavy.

With a passed out Eddie in his arms, his head turns right at the camera, so he is staring at it.

RICHIE

(To camera)

What a freak .

DISSOLVES TO:

EXT. NEW YORK STREETS - NIGHT 1 - LATER

Richie is leaving the restaurant to the windy New York streets with a passed out Eddie in his arms. He is not carrying him, because he is too heavy, he is dragging him: Richie has both of his arms wrapped up around Eddie’s torso, right under his armpits, Eddie’s feet scratching the floor as Richie walks with him. And Richie is not wearing his own coat, because it’s on Eddie’s shoulders - much like a comfort blanket.

Richie tries waving at cabs without letting Eddie fall to the ground, but no one stops for him. Until-

BEVERLY (O.S.)

HEY!

He turns his head, there’s no one there.

BEVERLY (O.S.)

Hey!

He turns again and he sees Beverly in the distance, leaning out of the open door of a taxi. He smiles and starts walking towards her.

INT. THE CAB - CONTINUOUS.

Richie climbs into the cab, adjusting  a  passed out Eddie in the middle  seat , between him and Beverly.

BEVERLY

Oh my god, what happened to him?

RICHIE

I think I gave him brain damage by accident.

BEVERLY

Where are you taking him? You really should take him to a hospital.

RICHIE

I should take you to a hospital.

BEVERLY

Richie, come on!

RICHIE

Either you go to a hospital or I throw this guy in a dumpster. It’s your call.

Beverly just rolls her eyes.

BEVERLY

Fine .

Richie leans forward to speak to the cabbie.

RICHIE

Can you take us to the nearest hospital, please?

The cabbie nods, looking back at Beverly for confirmation. Richie sits back. They share a look. Beverly nods and the cab takes off.

RICHIE

Where’s your husband, then?

BEVERLY

We had a discussion, he was a bit... Angry. And he went home. I don’t think... It’s a great idea to go home with him when he’s like that.

‘Oh’, Richie mouths. He turns to try to meet her eyes, but she’s staring out the window.

Beverly takes a deep breath.

BEVERLY

Look, I’m sorry for telling him about Stan. And for --- and for everything else.

RICHIE

It’s okay.

BEVERLY

Still, I’m sorry.

Richie nods, they sit in silence. They both look out their windows. Long pause.

Beverly decides to be the one to break the ice. She turns, and points at Eddie.

BEVERLY

He is kind of hot.

RICHIE

Kind of ? I bet he has the third hugest cock in the state of New York. Yours is the first, of course. Mine is second.

Beverly looks incredulous.

BEVERLY

Richie !

But Richie already has that knows-no-boundaries playful look on his face.

RICHIE

Should we take a  peek ?

BEVERLY

Richie No! What is wrong with you?

Richie throws his hands in the air.

RICHIE

I’m kidding! I’m kidding! Who do you even think I am? That was a joke !

BEVERLY

Well, it wasn’t  funny!

Richie shrugs. They look at each other, lock eyes and instantly start laughing until they are out of breath.

HARD CUT TO:

INT. A HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM -  LATER

Richie is sitting  in  an almost empty hospital waiting room. He looks directly at the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

And that’s how I ended up in a hospital hall on a Friday night, because my sister-in-law had a miscarriage and my hot future step brother thinks his brain was damaged by a punch in the face.

(Pause)

I’d better not die on Wednesday.

He looks around, the camera follows his look. His eyes lock at the receptionist's counter, the receptionist lazily talking to someone, while looking at some papers. The person with whom the receptionist is talking walks away. One last flashback rushes over Richie, although the camera doesn't turn to him. It's still framed on the receptionist's counter.

INT. THE SAME HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM -  FLASHBACK  - 6 MONTHS AGO

The scene doesn't hard cut or dissolve to the flashback , it seems like it's still the same scene. The receptionist is wearing the same clothes,  makes  the same face  and is  still looking at papers. Until Richie rushes in the frame -  it's just at this point that the viewers are hinted that this is a flashback . Richie is wearing other clothes, his hair is a bit longer, he looks absolutely  wrecked  and in total despair.

He stops by the counter, the receptionist barely looks up at him.

RICHIE

I'm - I'm here for my friend. I think I might be his emergency contact...? I - I - I didn't get in the ambulance with him, I don't know, it left without me, you gotta help me out.

The receptionist doesn't look touched.

RECEPTIONIST

What's his name, sir?

Richie looks like he is about to cry, he is hyperventilating.

RICHIE

Stan--ley Uris.

RECEPTIONIST

And your name?

RICHIE

Richard Tozier.

The receptionist nods.

RECEPTIONIST

It would help if you told me what he's in for.

Richie leans in the counter, he whispers something, barely audible.

RECEPTIONIST

I'm sorry?

RICHIE

(whispers)

He cut his own wrists.

RECEPTIONIST

I'm sorry, sir?

RICHIE

(almost screams)

He cut his wrists !

The people in the waiting room who are in the frame, look up at him. The receptionist nods, typing something on the computer.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. A HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM - NIGHT 1

The scene doesn't hard cut or dissolve back from the  flashback, it seems like it's still the same scene. But suddenly,   Richie is not by the counter anymore. The receptionist is alone.

The camera goes around the room again, and it meets Richie, who's sitting on the same chair as he was before the flashback. His eyes don't meet the camera. He looks taken aback, sad and melancholic, as if he's still tasting the memory on his tongue, and it's bitter. He wants to cry, but he notices that the camera is there, so he suddenly tries to look at it and smile. A smile of 'nothing happened'.

Suddenly he is kind of  ‘woken  up’ by his cellphone. On his lap, it lightens up and he checks the notification. It’s a grinder notification.

He opens it and a dick picture pops up. He almost jumps from his  seat , covering the phone screen, only peeking at it. He looks up and sees that the camera is still there, he hides his phone screen even more.

RICHIE

(to camera)

... Pervert !

He types for a few seconds, he looks at the camera and gives it a witty wink. Even though the hint of sadness behind his eyes is still fairly clear. He is trying his hardest to hide it.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Just one tiny life hack: doctors in real life are always tired of only fucking their colleagues.

Then, he stands up and leaves the room, going into a hall. He gives one last sad side glance at the counter. The camera doesn’t follow him. The screen turns black and the name of the show pops up in capital letters.

END OF EPISODE 1.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

INT. A BEDROOM - MORNING.

Nat King Cole's version of 'The Very Thought of You' plays.

Wide shot of a bedroom with a double bed. It's early in the morning, the sun cuts through the window curtains, and it lays, dramatically, on an attractive GUY who's sitting on the bed putting on his shoes. He is wearing trousers and no shirt. He is handsome: in his middle 30s, silky black hair, muscular back, lots of abs, although we can only see his back. By his side, there's RICHIE, laying on the bed half-naked, still asleep.

The music plays as the camera wanders over the dramatic sight of sunshine invading the room, the handsome guy and Richie. Creating some sort of cozy, romantic atmosphere.

Richie starts waking up, he soon begins to clearly admire the guy's back. Not on a loving way, but on a smug way.

Until he notices us there, and the looks at us (at the camera) smugly. He gives the guy's back a pointy, proud look, as if he is telling us 'yes, I had sex with this guy'. And then his look is back at us, and back to him, and back to us.

The guy looks back, revealing his sharp cheekbones and big hazel eyes. He smiles down at Richie. The music's volume goes down.

GUY

'Morning.

 

RICHIE

'Morning.

 

GUY

I didn't want to wake you up.

 

Richie is about to mumble an 'It's okay', when, for his visible surprise, the guy approaches him, half laying back on the bed,and kisses him passionately on the lips. Richie doesn't close his eyes or kiss back, although the guy doesn't seem to notice. Richie is just staring at the camera with wide eyes of mild surprise as the guy kisses him. The guy makes a trace of kisses until he is by his ear, and he whispers softly:

GUY

Last night was amazing.

And he gives him a peck by the ear.

 

 

 

 

 

GUY

Thank you. Really. For... For that --- uh, thing you did yesterday. I've always wanted to try it, but I've never met anyone who'd do it.

 

Richie smiles and turns to put his hand on the guy's chest to bring some distance between them. The guy is looking at him intensely, on a creepy way. Richie winks at him.

RICHIE

It's my pleasure.

 

And the guy smiles shyly, and goes back to tying his shoes. When his back is back to Richie, he turns his look directly to the camera. The smooth music stops abruptly:

 

RICHIE

(to camera)

When you're a broke 38 years old guy with squashy muscles and a receding hairline, the only way for you to get hot guys into your bed is by being really, really, really, and I mean really good at eating ass.

 

And the screen goes black, the music starts right from the moment it stopped, only incredibly louder.

The tittle pops up the screen: TRASHBAG.

 

INT. A BEDROOM - SAME MORNING.

Back to the bedroom. Richie is still laying on bed lazily, the guy is now bottoming up his shirt. Richie soon reaches out for his phone that is charging by the bed and checks the time.

As soon as he sees it, he jumps in surprise. Looking alarmed at the camera.

 

RICHIE

Shit, I’m late.

 

GUY

(confused)

On a Sunday?

 

But Richie doesn’t answer him. He gets out of bed, and as he walks into the hallway, he starts talking to the camera. And in some sort of parody of the opening scene of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, he starts monologuing as he walks down the hallway, towards the bathroom:

 

 

 

 

RICHIE

(To camera)

When I was 33 my dad decided to give my brother and I some money because he felt bad that we would soon become motherless children of a mom with brain cancer. And while my brother used it to expand his law firm, I used it to buy an expensive car. And it was a good call, because now, 5 years later, I get to take my car every Sunday on a trip to visit the love of my life. Luckily, not on a —-

 

INT. A HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK.

Richie is sitting at a chair by the hospital bed. There’s a lot of beeping, and an sleeping STAN laying on the bed. Richie is sleeping too, laying his head on the bed, by Stan’s hand. Which Richie is holding.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. THE HALLWAY. - CONTINUOUS

Back with Richie, he is opening the bathroom door, and walking in.

RICHIE

(To camera)

Or at a —-

EXT. CEMETERY - DAY - FLASH.

Richie is standing in front of a grave, wearing sun-glasses and black clothes.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. THE BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS

Richie is in the bathroom. He starts taking his clothes off, we can only see him waist up.

RICHIE

(to camera)

But at a nice mental health retreat.

He walks in the shower stall and he turns the shower on, testing the water.

RICHIE

(to camera, with a smile)

And Sunday is visitation day.

INT. A BATHROOM. SHOWER STALL - MINUTES LATER.

Inside the shower. Richie’s hair is standing straight up.

It's moulded into a fin with shampoo.

RICHIE

(To camera)

So, every Sunday, I religiously wake up before 8 am and I take the most long, and amazingly thoughtful shower of the week.

INT. A KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Richie is now in his kitchen. His hair is wet and he is wearing nice jeans and a Hawaiian shirt.

He opens the cabinet and gets cereal and bowl. He then opens the fridge and gets both a milk bottle and a Whisky bottle. He puts them both on the table dramatically. Through the gap between them, he stares at us.

RICHIE

(To camera)

I take the most nutritious breakfast.

His eyes travel from one bottle to the other, like he is thinking really hard. Until he visibly makes his mind and takes the Whisky one.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Considering the fact that I'm lactose intolerant.

He opens the Whisky bottle and puts it in the bowl, along with the cereal. He puts the milk bottle back in the fridge.

He walks until he is by the kitchen counter, and takes the car keys that were there.

RICHIE

(To camera)

And I take my ridiculously expensive and out-dated car, that displays better than anything my not-so-healthy early middle age crisis that happened in my early 30s, which means that I'll...

(pause, he is doing math)

Probably die at 60.

And he looks down at his cereal, he takes a spoon to his mouth.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Anyways, I take the car on a two hour trip to visit my favorite person. Who's doing better now. In case you were wondering.

He thinks for a little while, and decides to gulp down the whisky bottle instead.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He's in a mental health retreat covered by his crazy Jewish health insure, which is a thing, by the way. So, we don't have to worry that much about costs... And he is getting better. Which is the best thing that could ever happen to me.

Suddenly, the doorbell rings. From inside his room, the GUY with whom he slept with, screams:

GUY

Rich! There's somebody at the door.

Richie turns to the camera, with a knowingly look.

RICHIE

Yeah, he's still here -

INT. A BEDROOM - EARLIER THAT MORNING - FLASHBACK.

It's earlier that same morning, Richie has just gotten out of the shower. His hair is dripping wet, he has a towel around his waist. He is just entering his bedroom, when he jumps back, surprised to see that his one-night stand is still sitting on his bed, now fully clothed, looking down at his phone.

RICHIE

Oh! Shit! I thought you'd left.

The guy gets out of bed and approaches Richie, who's visibly uncomfortable.

GUY

I thought we could have round two?

And he gets closer, to kiss Richie on the lips, but he steps back.

RICHIE

Sorry, dude. I - uh - have somewhere to be right now, so...

The guy just shrugs.

GUY

I'll just take a shower, then. I still feel kind of funny down there.

Richie is left staring at the camera.

INT. THE HALLWAY - EARLIER THAT MORNING - FLASHBACK.

Richie is by the bathroom door. We can hear that in the bathroom, the shower is running. He knocks on the door with his fists.

RICHIE

(to camera)

'Can't be rude.

Near the door, he screams for the guy in the bathroom to hear.

RICHIE

Hey, man! Look, you've been there for nearly 30 minutes! I really need to leave for my thing!

GUY (O.S.)

You can leave!

RICHIE

(to camera)

'Don't want to be rude.

RICHIE

(to the guy)

I can't leave with you there... It's - uh - rude.

 

GUY (O.S.)

No, it's not, silly. Just go!

 

RICHIE

(to camera)

He’s forcing me to be rude.

 

RICHIE

(to the guy, with a soft, smooth voice)

I literally met you yesterday on a hook up app, I can't leave you alone in my house!

And from inside the bathroom, we can hear the guy laughing.

GUY (O.S.)

Gosh, dating comedians is so funny.

And Richie is looking at the camera exasperated.

End of flashback.

INT. THE KITCHEN. - CONTINUOUS.

We are back with Richie at the kitchen. He is looking at the camera with the same face he was wearing at the end of the flashback.

 

RICHIE

(to camera)

... He can't take a hint.

The doorbell rings again.

GUY (O.S.)

(from the room)

Do you want me to answer it for you?

Richie rolls his eyes.

RICHIE

(he screams so the guy can hear, clearly sarcastically)

No, sweetie-pie! I'm closer to the door!

He rolls his eyes again, and walks to the front door. He opens it to find a frowning EDDIE at the other side.

EDDIE

Sweetie-pie, dude? Seriously?

Richie just blinks at him.

RICHIE

Uh... Hey...?!

Eddie is wearing loose jeans and a polo shirt, much differently from the other time they met, at the family dinner, when he was wearing an expensive suit. He is also carrying a paper bag.

EDDIE

Hey!

RICHIE

Uh... Hey, Mrs. K Junior...!

RICHIE

(To camera)

Of course I know his name, I’m just not that easy.

EDDIE

Eddie, my name is Eddie.

RICHIE

Eddie! What can I do for you, man?

EDDIE

Oh! Okay! I came to hand you your coat.

And then he basically shoves the paper bag at Richie. Richie looks at him, waiting for an explanation.

EDDIE

Your dad gave my mom your address, who gave it to my wife, who gave it to me! So... Here I am!

RICHIE

Oh...

EDDIE

Oh, yeah, my wife, uh, Myra she thought it was really... UH... Thoughtful of you to take me to the hospital the other day. So she made me bring you your coat. In person. And say thank you. In person.

RICHIE

... Oh! I didn't even remember I left my coat with you. It's very thoughtful

(pause)

... of her.

Eddie is still frowning, Richie is still blocking the door. Everything is really awkward. Richie looks in the bag.

RICHIE

SHIT, dude. It's the Burberry coat. I didn't even remember I was wearing it the other night.

EDDIE

(almost screams)

It's a BURBERRY coat? How rich ARE YOU?

RICHIE

I'm Richie! Like 100%.

Eddie doesn't get it, until he does. And he doesn't laugh.

RICHIE

Okay, uh, seriously now. Let's just say that about two years ago my dear brother had a coat just like this one. And I have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he still can't find it anywhere.

Eddie is about to say something, when the GUY (yes, that guy) appears at the door. He side-eyes Eddie, but he doesn't say anything to him. He wraps his arm around Richie's shoulder.

GUY

Rich? I'm going home.

Richie turns to talk to him.

RICHIE

(sarcastically)

Oh, already?

And the guy approaches him, kissing him passionately on the lips, as if Eddie wasn't right in front of them.

GUY

Can we do that thing again sometime soon?

RICHIE

You have my number!

The gives his him another peck on the lips.

GUY

Bye, Rich!

RICHIE

Good, uh... Uh...

He doesn't know his name.

RICHIE

(To camera)

On the app, it said that his name is "Thickdaddy102", and I doubt that that's his given name, so I‘d better stick to ——

(To the guy)

... Bye... You..!

And the guy smiles, kisses him one more time and walks away, bumping his shoulder into Eddie's. Who's frowning really visibly.

RICHIE

(To camera)

See? Better safe than sorry.

EDDIE

So, was that your... Boyfriend...?

RICHIE

(to camera)

Literally just a stranger who wouldn’t leave my house.

RICHIE

(To Eddie)

No. Not really.

Eddie is frowning. He knows what he wants to ask but he doesn’t know how.

EDDIE

Then... Why... Uh... I mean... He was... It’s none of my business but... uh... Maybe I should go home... But.... uh.... Why did he - why was he... if you two weren't... You know...?

He keeps mumbling. Meanwhile, Richie is staring at the camera, behind Eddie.

RICHIE

(to camera, as if he was talking to himself)

I won't say it.

(Pause)

I won't say it.

(Pause)

Please, don’t let me say it.

And his eyes flick to Eddie, with a smile. And he says loud and clear:

RICHIE

(to Eddie)

I ate his ass.

(To camera, freaking out, though he is still smiling for Eddie's sake)

'Just said it. 'Just said it. I said it out-loud.

And Eddie is so in shock that his eyes are open wide, and his mouth is forming an ‘oh’. He is not mumbling anymore. He doesn’t know what to say. He is frozen in place. The only thing he can do is reach for his inhaler.

RICHIE

(To camera, in a whisper)

I think I broke him.

(To Eddie, with a smile)

Do you want to come in?

And he backs away from the door giving him space to walk through.

CUT TO:

INT. THE KITCHEN. - MOMENTS LATER.

Eddie is sitting at the kitchen table with a glass of water, as if he was still recovering from a traumatic experience.

Richie is standing up by the table, he doesn’t know what to do. So, he takes the whisky bottle, and he considers taking a swing, but then he silently decides that it’s more polite to pour some in a glass. Eddie just stares at him.

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

Dude, it’s 10 in the morning!

RICHIE

Oh, yeah, sorry. Where are my manners?

And he puts the bottle and another glass right in front of Eddie, on the table.

RICHIE

Would you like some breakfast?

And Eddie is, again, staring at him, his mouth forming an ’oh’.

RICHIE

(whispers to camera)

Tough crowd.

(To Eddie)

Sorry, uh, alcoholic jokes don’t work with everyone, I keep forgetting that.

EDDIE

Oh, shit, fuck! Sorry, I forgot about... About that.

Richie winks at him, and then he puts his glass on the sink.

RICHIE

So, can I do anything for you? I have a two hour trip ahead of me. I’m kind of in a hurry right now.

Eddie stands up abruptly.

EDDIE

Fuck, sorry, man. I didn’t mean to impose or anything. I just...

RICHIE

No, no, no, no...! It’s just that I’ve got to hit the road and everything. It’s a long drive.

Eddie just stares at him.

EDDIE

Wait a minute, who's driving? You're driving?

RICHIE

Yeah, dude. I can drive.

RICHIE

(to camera)

And I don't mean to brag, but I have a car.

EDDIE

No, asshole. It’s not that. You've been drinking!

RICHIE

So...? I can’t drive sober.

(To camera)

It‘s true. My brain has adapted to the blurry roads, so for me driving sober is like driving without my glasses.

EDDIE

Oh my god, you’re so full of crap! Don't you fucking value your own life, asshole?

RICHIE

(to camera)

Nope.

RICHIE

(to Eddie)

Dude, what's up with you? I'm minding my own business, and I really need to go, so...

Eddie stands up and he takes a deep, angry breath. Before he starts talking, he hits his own right, flat hand, with his other. In his odd hand gestures, he does when he is angry, and eager to make a point.

EDDIE

Only, dipshit, your own business is not only your business. Don't be an idiot.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Did he just tell me that we live in a society?

RICHIE

(to Eddie)

It's certainly not your business.

EDDIE

Look, I can't have you dying! You don't get it. My mom has never had a boyfriend after my father died, let alone a fiance or a husband. And if you die in a tragic car accident, it will affect her fiance's life, and her life, and the wedding won't happen.And believe me when I tell you that I'm gonna do everything in my fucking power to make sure that her wedding is no less than perfect, even if that means that I'll have to babysit you until the wedding day to make sure that you won't stupidly kill yourself by not giving a shit about your own life. So, yes, it is my business, jackass.

Richie opens his mouth to speak, he draws out a long breath. He adjusts himself, uncomfortably.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Gee, I think I have a boner.

RICHIE

Okay, I still gotta hit the road, so what do you suggest, nanny?

Eddie shrugs.

EDDIE

I'll drive you.

They lock eyes.

RICHIE

I'll be there all day.

EDDIE

I've got nothing to do all day.

RICHIE

It's really personal business, dude. Like, really.

EDDIE

I'll stay in the car, I can do some work... It won't be a problem.

RICHIE

I... I... Shit...

(to camera)

He can't take a hint.

Eddie smiles as if he just won a major argument. He takes his phone.

EDDIE

I'll call my wife to let her know.

INT. A BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

Richie rushes in his bedroom, he opens some drawers by his desk, at the corner of the room. He takes some folders and notebooks. He holds it up to the camera and starts monologuing again:

RICHIE

(to camera)

Stan and I own a bird-themed bar together.

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - FLASHBACK - 3 YEARS AGO.

Stan and Richie are in their bar. It's a really small, cozy place, with good lighting. There's a small stage by the corner, some tables made of wood and a bar. On the walls there are pictures of birds hanging everywhere.

By the side, there's an open door, to the small yard slash smoking section slash the place where the real birds live.

The bar is empty. Afterall, it's closed. They are sitting opposite from each other at one of the tables, with a glass of wine each. They are happy in their little kingdom they built together.

RICHIE

(drunkenly)

... You know, what, Stan the Man? I think the name's pretty dope.

STAN

(smiling drunkenly)

It's terrible. No one's gonna get it, and it's such a large name for a bar.

Richie gestures dramatically, as if he outraged.

RICHIE

No...! Why would you say that? I can already see the New Yorkian youth going crazy about it.

STAN

How are they gonna go crazy about a name, Richie?

RICHIE

Just imagine it:

(and he puts on an exaggerated accent)

'Yo, homey. Why don't we hit up that new bar...

(and he says the next part, as he was singing the Beatles' song "And your bird can sing")

And your bird can drink...'

STAN

No one talks like that in real life, Richie. And 'your bird can drink' is a horrible name for a bar.

Richie shrugs.

RICHIE

But it's our name and it's awesome.

STAN

It is awesome.

They laugh. Richie pulls Stan's face close to his.

RICHIE

Look at me, Stan. Let's never ask anyone for anything. Ever. They don't get it. No one gets it. Not even the cool New Yorkian teenagers.

STAN

(nodding his head)

Deal, trashmouth.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. A BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS.

We're back with Richie holding up the folders.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Well, I've been taking care of everything mostly on my own for the last 6 months. Because... UH... Because of...

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK - 6 MONTHS AGO.

Quick flash, of Richie's face at the exact moment he opens the door and he finds Stan passed out in the tub.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. A BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS.

Again, Richie is in the bedroom, holding the folders.

RICHIE

(to camera)

... stuff. But Stan is a control freak, so he makes me take note of everything. I have to bring a copy of all the receipts, number of costumers, I have to track down the inventory... And on Sunday, I give it all to him and he tells me what to do the next week.

(pause)

Okay, maybe I'm not on my own. I'm just a working bee, and he's the accountant.

He winks at the camera, and stands up. He walks to the door.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Eddie is waiting Richie by the door, he holds it open. He has car keys in hand.

EDDIE

We're taking my car.

RICHIE

(like a sulking teenager)

I hate you, dad.

He walks past it, and Eddie walks out too, closing the door behind him.

INT. EDDIE'S CAR - DAY - MOMENTS LATER

The car is parked somewhere, Richie is by himself in the passenger sit. But then, the door opens and Eddie gets in, holding two coffee cups and on bag of bagels.

EDDIE

There you go!

He hands the bag and one cup to Richie, he puts the other cup in the cup holder by his sit.

EDDIE

... Real breakfast.

RICHIE

Thank you, nana Spaghetti.

EDDIE

That’s not my name.

Richie smiles goofily at him, and Eddie starts the car without meeting his eyes. They drive a bit in silence, until Eddie stops at a red light. He takes the coffee and takes a sip. Until, someone in a motorcycle, in an attempt of riding between the cars, almost hits his’. Eddie jumps in surprise and spills a bit of his coffee on his lap. He angrily opens the window, and honks the car horn like crazy.

EDDIE

(Screams)

You bastard! Do you want to kill yourself or something? Go fuck yourself!

RICHIE

(to camera)

I totally have a boner.

EDDIE

Sorry, Jesus. Sorry, I have coffee on me.

He mops himself.

RICHIE

Do you want a hand there?

Richie gives the camera look at the ambiguity of his sentence. Eddie doesn’t seem to have noticed.

RICHIE

(To camera)

I can’t possibly help him out without accidentally touching his crotch.

EDDIE

No, no. Sorry, I got this. It’s all good. I’m not freaking out.

He keeps mopping until it’s all gone. He looks down at the material he just cleaned the coffee up with. He looks proud.

EDDIE

Done!

(Pause)

Sorry about this. New York traffic drives me crazy.

RICHIE

Maybe you’re one of those few cases where smoking pot before driving is the safe thing to do.

EDDIE

Just like you’re one of those few cases in which drinking before driving is the safe thing to do?

RICHIE

Exactly! Dude, you need to chill.

INT. EDDIE’S CAR - DAY - 40 MINUTES LATER.

The two of them are now driving in the open road.

Eddie gives a quick look at the GPS.

EDDIE

So, you’re visiting a friend from AA?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

It says here that we’re going to a retreat. That' euphemism for rehab, right?

RICHIE

I’ve never been to AA...

EDDIE

Oh.

RICHIE

... Because I’ve never tried to quit. Thank you very much.

EDDIE

Never? Like, never?

RICHIE

(Proudly)

Never.

They fall into silence again.

RICHIE

(to camera)

... Awkward.

More silence. Until Eddie clears his throat.

EDDIE

Look, dude. I’be been meaning to say that... But... uh... Okay... My condolences. I‘m really sorry for your loss.

Richie looks at him for a few seconds.

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

Your baby.

RICHIE

Oh yes, thank you. Thank you. Yes, I… am… Thank you.

EDDIE

Is the mother... Alright?

Richie nods nervously.

RICHIE

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...

EDDIE

Myra asked me to tell you that there is a support group for miscarriage survivors in our church. It's mostly for women, but they'd take you.

Richie looks at the camera, he feels trapped.

RICHIE

Thank you very much but I really am an atheist.

EDDIE

It's catholic church! If the fucking pope said on TV that he's an atheist, he'd probably get away with it.

RICHIE

He'd probably get murdered by the church...

Eddie nods.

EDDIE

Yeah...

Richie laughs, he glances at camera - 'how sweet is that?'.

RICHIE

So, you said you'd work in the car all day?

EDDIE

Yeah... I have some articles to finish.

RICHIE

Articles...? You're a journalist?

(he doesn't give Eddie space to answer)

A business journalist? Those guys who write angry stuff about the stock market as if it was real thing?

EDDIE

The stock market is a real thing, asshole!

RICHIE

(to camera)

No, it's not. It's a made up thing capitalism invented to take the blame for people loosing their jobs and starving once in a while.

EDDIE

But no, I'm not a journalist. I'm a risk analyst, and I write, er, as a hobby, I write restaurant reviews for a small online magazine.

RICHIE

Okay...!

EDDIE

I was just finishing up one of them and I actually just came up with a really good title.

RICHIE

What is it?

Eddie visibly blushes, he takes his eyes off the road for a moment, to look a Richie.

EDDIE

... no.

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

No, it’s not cool!

RICHIE

Non-cool things are the the new cool! You should know that.

Pause. Eddie is blushing.

EDDIE

“I‘d quit my job and risk EVERYTHING for that dessert.”

(pause)

Get it? Because I’m a risk analyst.

Long pause. He looks slightly vulnerable.

Richie is speechless. He turns to camera:

RICHIE

(To camera)

Oh god, I’m into him.

INT. RICHIE’S BEDROOM - NIGHT - FLASH FORWARD.

Richie is sitting up in bed on his laptop. He types into a search engine– “is it incest to have sex with your step sibling“.

He sees the results and then he thinks again, glances at camera. And adds ‘is it incest to have sex with your step sibling if you’re both adults who know each other for a week’

He nods at the computer. Then, he types: ‘Is it legal to marry step sibling?’

He glances at camera, and retypes: ‘Is it legal to gay marry step sibling?‘

He looks at the camera, an excited expression on his face.

End of flash forward.

EXT. A PARKING LOT (OF SORTS) - DAY

Back on the present, their trip is coming to an end. There's a beautiful, white house, that resembles a farm house. It's in the middle of nowhere, by the side of the open road. The car enters the parking lot. When it stops, Richie gets out of the car, with his folder in hands. He walks to the big wooden door of the house, sending the camera a look on his way.

INT. A RECEPTION - DAY - CONTINUOUS.

Richie enters the house, to a broad room, with chairs and a reception. He approaches it, he nods at the receptionist, who's a beautiful MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN. He places his ID on top of the counter.

RICHIE

(flirty)

Hello, Susan.

SUSAN

Hey, Richie. How are you doing this week?

RICHIE

I'm doing better now that I'm seeing you...

She giggles. She hands him back his ID.

SUSAN

Do you have a bag, a backpack...?

RICHIE

Nope. Just the usual papers.

He holds up the folders and notebooks. She smiles at him. He place a plastic box on the counter.

SUSAN

Okay, so put your cellphone and wallet in the box, please.

He does just that.

RICHIE

If I put a piece of paper with my number in it there, would you take it? Or that's considered robbery?

She smiles, rolling her eyes playfully. And she takes the box from the counter.

SUSAN

Stan is waiting for you. Just sign in here, please.

She slides a paper and a pen on the counter.

SUSAN

Don't forget to write your number.

He signs it, and winks at her, flirty. Then, he moves on into the building.

CUT TO:

INT. A BACKYARD - DAY - CONTINUOUS.

There's a beautiful, broad, backyard, with grass and a big garden. Everything is really green, and there are flowers everywhere. Even a water-fountain.

Richie leaves the house, entering the yard. Stan is sitting at a bench, reading a book. Richie sees him from afar. He smiles. A big, genuine smile. As he walks towards him, he talks to the camera:

RICHIE

Stan and I know each other ever since the age of 10, we've always been best friends. And I know that sounds really fancy, and really British but we actually met because we were country-house neighbors.

By this point, he is basically in front of STAN, who hasn't noticed him yet because he is looking down at his book and he has his earphones on. Richie doesn't hesitate, he hugs him in a big, bear hug, hiding his face in Stan's hair.

STAN

(muffled by the hug)

Oh my god, Richie. Can't you say hi like a normal person for once?

Richie doesn't let go of him.

RICHIE

No. Absolutely not.

He still hasn't let go of him. He rests his chin on Stan's shoulder, to look directly into the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He was actually the person who made me realize, at the age of 11, that I wasn't, in fact, a psychopath.

INT. A BEDROOM. NIGHT - THE 80s  - FLASHBACK

It’s the baby-blue colored bedroom, with lots of toys and two twin beds from Richie's childhood bedroom. The room is really dark, except for a lamp, between the beds.

On one of the beds, an 11 years-old Stan is laying asleep. On the other bed, an 11 years-old Richie is laying awake. Richie is unsettled, on the bed. He can't stop moving and turning.

Until he sits up. He takes his pillow and considers. Until he makes his mind: he stands up with the pillow in both hands, and approaches Stan. He places it above his friend's face, not actually touching it yet.

He thinks, he considers, he makes faces. And he does nothing, he just stays frozen, with the pillow in the air. Until Stan moves in his sleep.

STAN

(mumble)

Go to sleep, Richie.

Immediately after that, Richie hugs the pillow - not in 'murder position' anymore. He looks ashamed.

RICHIE

(whisper)

Can I sleep with you?

Stan moves, making space in the bed. He still is half-asleep.

STAN

Sure.

And Richie lays down next to him. He closes his eyes.

End of flashback.

INT. A BACKYARD - DAY - CONTINUOUS.

We're back with Richie, Stan and their hug. Richie still is resting his chin on Stan's shoulder, looking into to the camera. As the scene returns to the present, he welcomes it with a smile.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Turns out that my homicidal tendencies were exclusively reserved to my brother.

(pause)

They still are.

STAN

Richie, come on.

RICHIE

Just 10 more seconds, please, Stan the man.

And he hides his face in his friend's hair again, breathing him in. Until he lets him go. He holds up the folders and says with cheerful voice:

RICHIE

I brought your papers.

They smile at each other.

INT. A STUDY ROOM - DAY - CONTINUOUS.

They're in a big study room. There are lots of big tables, sofas and bookcases.

Stan is sitting on one of the sofas, looking really focused at a paper, making notes on it. Meanwhile, Richie is laying on the couch, with head on Stan's thigh. He looks up at the ceiling, as if he was in heaven. He drops his head to the side, to speak to the camera:

RICHIE

No, I'm not secretly in love with my best friend. In case you were wondering, I have a little problem.

INT. A BEDROOM - NIGHT - YEARS BEFORE - FLASHBACK.

Richie is having sex with a beautiful WOMAN in his bed. He is on top of her, his back is sweaty, she is also naked but we can’t see anything because they’re covered by a blanket, so it’s not explicit nudity. She looks bored, at the ceiling and he looks concentrated.

BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

Richie, you’re flaccid.

RICHIE

What?

BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

You’re not hard anymore, can you get off of me? 

And he drops to the side, on his belly, with a loud sigh of relief. They lay side by side, with a blanket covering their bodies.

RICHIE

Sorry, do you want me to finish you off?

She hums ‘no’. And they fall into silence. Both of them staring at the ceiling.

BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

We should break up.

RICHIE

What?

BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

You can’t get a boner. We should break up.

He opens his mouth to speak. He can’t say anything. And she is suddenly sitting up, with her back to the camera, putting her clothes on.

RICHIE

(sincerely)

Shit, but I love you so much.

She stands up, she walks to the door, before she leaves, she says:

BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

Get a doctor.

And she slams the door shut.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. THE STUDY ROOM - CONTINUOUS.

We’re back with Richie, laying on Stan’s thigh. He keeps talking to the camera:

RICHIE

(To camera)

... I can't get sexually aroused by people that I am emotionally connected with.

(pause)

Like a demisexual in reverse. I don’t know if they’ve invented a name for that. Probably, 'deeply messed up' is the appropriate label.

He is brought back from his monologue by Stan, who starts talking.

STAN

Hey, Richie?

RICHIE

Yeah?

STAN

The papers are great this week, congratulations.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I love it when he gives me gold stars.

STAN

But if you keep making the guys take extra hours all the time because you’re too lazy to take over for them, we‘ll go bankrupt... Let me see...

(Pause)

In two years.

RICHIE

That’s actually a lot of time!

STAN

Shut up, Trashmouth. How are the birds? Is Hillary okay?

RICHIE

Hillary...

And a nice memory takes over him:

INT. A LIVING ROOM - DAY - YEARS BEFORE - FLASHBACK.

Richie stands nervously in front of Stan, who is sat with a birthday cupcake.

RICHIE

Ok. The most important thing is if you don’t like it we can’t take it back. Ok?

STAN

Okay.

RICHIE

Happy birthday.

He hands him a box.

RICHIE

Sorry, I panicked.

STAN

As long as it's not that prank thing that jumps on you when you open the box, I'll like it.

RICHIE

(with a big, goofy smile)

It might do that.

Stan opens the box. He looks in, then at Richie in disbelief.

STAN

Oh my God– did you get me a–?!! A PARROT? Richie, a PARROT?

He lifts up the almost-baby parrot.

RICHIE

Just so I’ll teach her to speak all these trashmouth-y things, so she can annoy you when I’m not around.

STAN

Richie! Oh my god. She’s so young! And so beautiful!

(Pause)

I’ll name her Hillary.

RICHIE

Hillary? What a crappy name, I had already named her after myself. Tiny Birdy Trashmouth.

Stan rolls his eyes at Richie.

STAN

No, it’s Hillary.

He is thrilled with his present.

End of flashback.

INT. THE STUDY ROOM - DAY - CONTINUOUS.

We’re back with Richie and Stan in the study room.

RICHIE

... Hillary is okay. She’s not at the bar anymore because she was talking too much, and annoying the costumers. I took her home.

STAN

I told you to do that one hundred times!

RICHIE

... Yes, you did, you're always right.

(pause)

Y’know, she‘s with Bill this weekend, because he asked me to take her. He likes her a lot.

STAN

That's sweet...

RICHIE

Just not so much anymore because she‘s learned to scream ”Go fuck yourself”, whenever someone takes a phone-call near her.

STAN

Oh my god, Richie! How’d you let that happen?

RICHIE

She’s a trashmouth, what can I do?

Stan rolls his eyes soundly at that, and the scene...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. A BACKYARD - LATER THAT DAY.

Richie and Stan are sitting together at one of the wooden tables, playing chess. Richie is talking.

RICHIE

... So, I took both the hot guy and Bev to the hospital and then I fucked a hot doctor in a hospital bathroom.

(Pause)

Kind of unrelated but dad sent me a huge text, calling me out for making a bad impression on his fiancee.

STAN

He is kind of right, though!

RICHIE

You haven't met her, Stan. She probably feeds on bad impressions.

STAN

That makes no sense.

They fall into a quick silence, Richie makes his move in the game. He hesitates to say something. Something he's been meaning to say all afternoon.

RICHIE

... So, what about you, how have you been doing?

STAN

Good! I’m doing good. I‘m taking my meds, I go to therapy, I‘m reading a lot, I exercise everyday.

Richie smiles soundly at that.

RICHIE

Shit, that’s the best thing you could ever tell me. Really, Stan. You have no idea.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He being alive and well is the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

STAN

I mean it, Richie. I’ve been discussing this a lot with my doctor... He thinks it’s time for me to go home.

Richie widens his eyes in absolute surprise and joy. He jumps from his sit, and walks around the table to hug Stan, as if his life depended on it.

RICHIE

Holy fuck!! Stanny is going home!! Holy fucking shit. This is the happiest day of my life.

He kisses him on the cheek.

STAN

Gross, Richie.

RICHIE

When are you going?

STAN

In a few weeks, maybe in 1 or 2 weeks.

RICHIE

Oh shit! You’re so going to dad’s wedding. No way I’m suffering through that alone.

STAN

We’ll suffer together. And I’ll suffer a little more, because I’ll have to sit through your horrible speech. And you will probably get off on it.

Richie seems like he’s heard the sweetest thing, and he pulls Stan into another hug.

STAN

Rich, uh, I just... Want to... Thank you. For everything.

The camera closes in Richie’s face.

INT. A BEDROOM - NIGHT - 7 MONTHS AGO - FLASHBACK.

In Richie’s room, Richie is heatedly making out with Stan’s then girlfriend, Patty. They both half naked.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. THE BACKYARD - CONTINUOUS.

Back to the present, Stan keeps going.

STAN

... I mean it, I wouldn’t have made it without you, you‘re the best friend I could ever have.

INT. A BUS - NIGHT - 6 MONTHS AGO - FLASHBACK.

Richie is in a bus, standing up. He is going back home from work, it’s late at night.

It’s the same night in which he found Stan in the tub. He is listening to a voicemail in his phone.

STAN (O.S.)

(In the voicemail, he is sobbing)

... She cheated on me, Richie. Cheated! She told me so herself! I thought we had something, you know.

(he sobs, and he sobs)

I loved her so much. I love her so much! I feel rotten inside. No one’s ever going to love me, you know. Because I’m rotten...

Richie let’s the phone fall from his ear, he looks shocked.

END OF FLASHBACK.

INT. THE BACKYARD - CONTINUOUS.

We’re back with Stan and Richie in the backyard.

STAN

... I love you, man.

A single tear of guilt and shame drops from Richie’s eye. He is trying not to show that he is absolutely rotten in guilt.

RICHIE

I love you too.

And Stan pushes him slightly on the arm, smiling.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE - SUNSET - MOMENTS LATER.

Richie opens the main door of the house with a big push. Tears start dropping on his cheeks. He takes a cigarette from his pocket and lights it. He looks thoughtful.

He takes his phone and opens his contacts, we wanders through the names, until his thumb stops on the name ”Patty”. He considers hitting ‘call’. A memory takes over him -

INT. A HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY - 6 MONTHS AGO - FLASHBACK.

Stan is on his hospital bed, eating yogurt. Richie is sitting at a chair next to him.

STAN

Patty still hasn't come to visit?

Richie would be outraged at the question, if he wasn't drown in guilt. So, he just shakes his head.

STAN

I thought she would, y'know. If I made it through, I thought she'd at least come to visit.

And Richie doesn't know what do say.

End flashback.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE CLINIC - SUNSET - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie. The memory makes more tears drop on his face.

He hits call. But then, he hears a loud horn from afar. He looks up from his phone to see Eddie waving from inside of the car. He gives up on the call, before she even answers the phone, and he puts the phone back in his pocket. He puts out his cigarette, and throws it in a trashcan by the door.

He walks towards the car.

CUT TO:

INT. EDDIE'S CAR - SUNSET - CONTINUOUS

Richie goes in the car, and sits in the passenger sit. Eddie is still typing something on his laptop, he closes it, and gives Richie a look. He is instantly surprised by the state he's in.

EDDIE

Dude, are you okay?

Richie nods. And Eddie hands him some tissues that he seems to have taken out of nowhere.

RICHIE

'Just some miscarriage grief.

Eddie frowns at him, he is not sure if that's a joke. He starts the car.

EDDIE

You don't need to tell me if you don't want to.

RICHIE

Thank you.

Eddie smiles at him, sympathetically. And they hit the road.

INT. EDDIE'S CAR - SUNSET - SEVERAL MINUTES LATER.

The two of them are driving in silence.

Richie is still crying silently, and Eddie looks like he's in complete despair.

EDDIE

Seriously, dude. What can I do for you?

RICHIE

(to camera)

Gee, maybe a blowjob would help.

RICHIE

(to Eddie)

Get me a drink.

EDDIE

I'm not doing that!

Silence. Richie clicks his tongue.

RICHIE

Give me some spicy Spaghetti tea, then.

EDDIE

I have no idea of what that means.

RICHIE

Tell me some story of your life, dude. Something interesting, I don't know, entertain me.

Eddie nods, he thinks for a while, until he has some sort of epiphany.

EDDIE

I almost became a catholic priest once.

Richie is shocked.

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

Okay. So, uh, my mom is really religious. So, when she was pregnant of me, she made a vow... Like to god. That if she managed to keep me on His path until the age of 18, she'd make a priest out of me. As a thank you.

RICHIE

(to camera)

... Pretentious.

JUMP CUT TO:

INT. A DINER - SUNSET - MOMENTS LATER

They now sitting at a dinner, at the side of the open road. They're sitting one in front of the other. They're eating pancakes and drinking coffee. Eddie is still talking, Richie is listening to him, interested.

EDDIE

... So, on my last year of high school I applied to seminary.

RICHIE

Dude, wait a minute, you really went along with your mom's nonsense?

EDDIE

It wasn't nonsense! She's very religious, she thought that if she didn't fulfill her vow, we'd both go to hell.

RICHIE

So, you did what she wanted?

EDDIE

Of course I did! I was 17! Now let me finish.

Richie nods, his mouth full of pancake.

EDDIE

So, I got in seminary and I spent 7 years there.

RICHIE

(shocked)

Seven fucking years?

EDDIE

Yep, and I liked it a lot, okay? It was fun.I had a routine, nice friends, I didn't worry about money or relationships, I studied a lot of basically everything. Languages - dead and alive -, lots of theology, literature, lots of philosophy.

RICHIE

Studying the bible isn't studying philosophy, though, is it?

EDDIE

As matter of fact, it actually can be. But we didn't only study the bible. We studied basically everything. I read fucking Nietzsche in there. Like, for class. And not to talk crap on it, but to actually discuss it. It was allowed and encouraged.

RICHIE

Whoa! But if it was so fun, why aren't you an actual priest right now?

Eddie shrugs, and then he just says:

EDDIE

I freaked out.

RICHIE

You freaked out?

EDDIE

Yeah! When I finished seminary, on my Holy order day, I freaked out.

RICHIE

Holy order...?

EDDIE

It's like your priest graduation. Your priest sacrament. When you vow to celibacy. Like... A marriage to god.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I never took god for a polyamorous type of guy.

RICHIE

(to Eddie)

Dude, that sounds like some serious cult stuff.

Eddie actually laughs at that. Richie gives the camera a smug look.

RICHIE

So, you decided you didn't want to spend your life without sex?

EDDIE

No, actually no. I was very cool with that.

Richie gives the camera a look.

EDDIE

I just felt rebellious, so I ran from the church, and I took a bus downtown.

RICHIE

(excited)

And...?

EDDIE

And then I got tattoos.

Richie actually gasps at that. He is excited, in a child-like way.

RICHIE

You got tattoos? Right then and there?

EDDIE

Yep. And just like that I threw 7 years of my life in the trash.

And then, Richie is laughing.

RICHIE

(excited)

That's so cool. You're so cool.

Eddie laughs softly, and stands up.

EDDIE

I'm going to the bathroom, jackass.

Richie winks at him.

RICHIE

Be my guest.

And Eddie leaves. Richie is left alone in the table. His smile fades, he is reminded of things. He looks down at his plate, out the window...Until he takes his phone and, again, he opens his contacts. He stops at the name of 'Patty', and hits call.

It rings until it hits voicemail.

RICHIE

Hey, uh, it's Richie. I know we don't exactly keep in touch, but, uh. I visited Stan today, and I thought that I'd call you... Because he told me he's going back to New York soon, so... And he might contact you...? I mean, it's possible. And I don't know, he might ask questions...? And maybe, we should just pretend that none of that... stuff happened? Look, he's been through a lot. There's no need to hurt him again. So, I was thinking, that we shouldn't tell him, about that. He doesn't have to know. Maybe it's for the best.

(pause, a tear falls down his face)

You don't have to call me back, just send me a text telling me if you agree, or something. I hope you're doing well.

(another pause)

Look, I just want him to be happy. And alive. And home. I hope you understand that. I think you do. And... Yeah...

He sees Eddie returning to the table.

RICHIE

... Bye. Uh, I hope you're doing well.

And then he turns the call off, he smiles widely at Eddie, trying to look as if nothing happened and he's okay. Eddie sits back on the table. He is still 'hyped' by the story he was telling before.

RICHIE

So, what did you do, then, Spaghetti? Did your mom disown you for giving her a ticket to hell?

He notices that he hit a nerve, because Eddie looks suddenly uncomfortable. But he brushes it off quickly.

EDDIE

That's not my name.

(pause)

Well, she did freak out. Like, in a scary, non-human way.

RICHIE

And what did you do?

Eddie just shrugs.

EDDIE

With my life?

Richie nods.

EDDIE

I went to Business school.

And they just look at each other for a mild second, and Richie breaks down laughing. Eddie soon, follows him.

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - LATER THAT DAY.

Richie's and Stan's bar has a decent amount of people, drinking and talking. On the stage, there's a drunk guy, with the microphone in hands, making a messy attempt of a stand up routine. He obviously wasn't paid to do that. He's just drunk and the mic was open.

DRUNK GUY

... So, the virgin philosophy major got to the hottie's door and he asked her: 'Knock knock'. From the other side, she answered: 'who is it?', so he stopped for a moment, he thought really hard at the question...

(dramatic pause)

and he ran away because he didn't know who he was.

The camera wanders over the small crowed of people rolling their eyes at that. It stops at the bar. The bar-man, and Richie and Stan's personal friend, BILL, is serving a few people.

Richie is by the bar's counter, with a Scotch glass in hands. He is all by himself. His cellphone buzzes, and he looks down at the text. Patty sent him a text: 'it's okay. I agree with you. And I'm doing good btw. Thanks for asking :)'. He doesn't even unlock his phone to answer the text.

His attention returns to the stage. People are booing the drunk guy, he gives them his middle finger and leaves the stage. As soon as that happens, a MAN takes his place there, it's a MIDDLE AGED MAN, who looks smug and drunk, too.

MIDDLE AGED MAN

So, the nice thing about my wife is that when I married her, in the 90s, I was under the impression that she was a lesbi-

And the scene...

CUTS TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE BAR - LATER THAT NIGHT - 2 AM.

All the lights in the bar are now, turned off. Richie walks out of the main door, locking it. He is wearing a heavy coat and he struggles to actually turn his key.

Behind him, a car stops by the sidewalk. He doesn't even look back at it. Until his brother TOM gets out of the car.

TOM

Hey, Richie.

Richie jumps back, turning to him. He gives the camera a look.

RICHIE

Sorry, dude. We're closed.

TOM

I was hoping to catch it open, but... Can I talk to you?

RICHIE

Couldn't you call? It's 2 AM, dude. Go home.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Oh, no. My homicidal tendencies trying to break free inside of me...

TOM

... Beverly wants to divorce me.

Richie actually smiles at him. And then at the camera.

RICHIE

(To camera, he says slowly, tasting every word in his mouth)

Good. For. Her.

RICHIE

(To Tom)

... Good for her.

TOM

Look. I'm here to ask you for something.

Richie just stares at him, frowning.

TOM

She listens to you, I'm asking you to talk her out of it.

RICHIE

Dude, Beverly is her own person. And as a beater, you should've seen that coming.

TOM

But she listens to you! Richie, please.

Richie rolls his eyes, he starts walking on the sidewalk.

RICHIE

I'm going home.

Tom follows him.

TOM

Look, I didn't actually want to do it. But you're not giving me any other choice. If Beverly leaves me, I'm gonna tell your friend what you did to him, that you were the... The mistress.

Richie stops walking, he turns back to Tom. From his moment on, Richie refuses to let his eyes meet the camera, until the end of the scene.

RICHIE

What? Dude, I'm not a magician. I don't have a voodoo doll on Beverly. I don't control her. What's wrong with you?

TOM

She listens to you!

RICHIE

You know everything that Stan's been through... Are you a psychopath or something?

Tom just shakes his head, he walks back to his car, satisfied.

TOM

Talk to her.

And he gets back in the car. The car leaves, and Richie is left alone in the empty street. He walks to his car, but then decides against it. He walks back to his bar, and he unlocks the door.

CUT TO:

EXT. DAD'S HOUSE. FRONT DOOR - EVEN LATER THAT NIGHT.

Richie is drunk. He is holding an almost empty vodka bottle. He is yelling through the letter box.

RICHIE

Hello.....!

(To camera)

This is fine.

He hammers relentlessly on the door.

RICHIE

HELLO...! Open the door!

(To camera)

Totally fine.

Eventually the door opens. Dad looks exhausted, he is wearing an usual old-man’s PJs.

RICHIE

Hey, dad!

DAD

What’s going on?

RICHIE

Oh, I’m fine. Totally fine.

DAD

Okay.

RICHIE

It’s just that...

He starts tearing up, he fights against it - ‘man up, Richie’.

RICHIE

Uh–it’s nothing. It doesn’t–It’s …

DAD

You know it‘s nearly four in the morning, right?

RICHIE

Ok. Yeah, Ok. I’m— I don’t wanna, I’m gonna. It was...

(Pause)

Oh, fuck it. I have a fucked-up feeling that I am a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt guy who's going to die alone because that's what he deserves for being a terrible person.

He looks desperately at his dad, searching for support.

DAD

Well… Um…

Dad almost looks pathetic for a mild second. Until he holds up his phone.

DAD

Your uber driver is here.

RICHIE

What?

DAD

I called you an Uber before I opened the door. Your car is here.

Richie looks a bit surprised, and a bit hurt.

DAD

Go home, have some rest.

Richie is still frozen in place.

DAD

Goodbye, son.

And he starts closing the door, until he stops, looks at Richie.

DAD

You should use that coupon I gave you. For therapy.

And Richie is nodding, but his dad has already closed the door in his face. He stares at it for a few seconds, until he turns and walks to the car. He gets in.

As the car drives away in the suburb New Yorkian street, the scene...

FADES OUT.

Chapter Text

 

INT. SUBWAY – DAY

 

RICHIE sits in the train. He looks like a wreck. His hair is messy, there are huge bags under his eyes. He looks exhausted.

‘Sail’ by AWOLNATION starts playing.

We do not hear the sound of the real world. Each seat opposite is taken by random members of the public. They all sit silently.

A few people are standing. It’s your regular, bored, anonymous subway carriage of commuters. No one is engaging with each other. Richie looks at each one individually. At each break in the music each person breaks into a brief, but eviscerating, sob before snapping back to their usual expressionless face.

Just as we hit the climax of the music, it cuts out. Richie looks sideways at the camera.

 

RICHIE

(To camera)

I haven’t had a drink or an orgasm in two weeks.

And the scene goes black, the tittle pops up: TRASHBAG.

 

EXT. A CEMETERY - MORNING.

The scene FADES IN a beautiful, shiny day. The camera wanders over the clear sky, and then it goes down to a beautiful 'park', with lots of grass and flowers. We can hear birds singing and the sound of the wind hitting the trees.

Above the nice sight of trees and sunshine, yellow letters saying 'A WEEK AND A HALF BEFORE' appear.

Until it fades away, as the camera gets closer to the ground, some graveyards can be seen, and it shows that it's actually a cemetery.

As it gets even closer to the ground, we meet Richie, who's jogging. Through the cemetery.

He stops to stretch dramatically. He nods at the camera, as in 'Hello'.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Jogging.

 

 

 

 

 

INT. RICHIE'S FLAT - DAY - FLASH.

It's someday before or after the jogging in the cemetery, it's hard to tell. This scene stands in contrast with the former. Everything is really gray, and the lighting is low.

Richie is asleep on the sofa, the TV is on, playing some episode of Gray's Anatomy. He is asleep with his mouth hanging open, he is holding a half eaten sandwich on his chest. He is wearing pants and an old shirt, he has bags under his eyes.

 

LATER - Richie is eating a bowl of cereal while playing a farming simulator game on his cellphone. As he is playing, a notification box appears: he's received a text from “The devil Himself“ and the text simply says: “So, have you talked to her yet?“. Richie doesn’t react to it, he slides the box up out of the screen and keeps playing the game.

LATER - Richie opens his fridge, it's empty, except for a rotten apple, an empty bottle of vodka and a bottle of milk. He picks up the bottle of milk, opens it and gives it a smell, he makes an ugly face a it.

LATER - Again, Richie is asleep on the couch, another episode of Grey's anatomy plays on the TV. Even though he isn't holding food this time, the old bottle of milk is open, placed by the couch.

LATER - Richie is sitting on the toilet, his pajama bottoms dropped to his knees. His cellphone is on his knee, and the same farm simulator game is open. But he is not playing, he is taking a nap with his head supported by the wall behind him.

And the scene...

CUT TO:

EXT. A CEMETERY - CONTINUOUS.

We're back with Richie jogging through the cemetery. The contrast between him in this scene and in the former is evident. He doesn't look so depressed now. Or at least it doesn't show.

From afar we can see BEVERLY sat on a bench, that's opposite from a grave with fresh flowers. Richie jogs towards her, and she stands up when he approaches the bench.

RICHIE

It's better if we don't hug, I'm all sweaty.

Beverley sighs in relief and sits back down.

BEVERLEY

Oh, thank god...

Richie sits next to her, but not so close, because he is REALLY sweaty.

BEVERLEY

Since when do you run?

RICHIE

Since this very morning, thank you very much.

Beverly just stares at him.

RICHIE

I'm trying to be healthy!

BEVERLEY

Richie, you're trying to convince me that you did not just do that so you could come to your mom's grave dripping in sweat? I know you.

RICHIE

Look, I'm really trying! I even did push-ups when I woke up.

 

INT. RICHIE'S BEDROOM - EARLIER THAT MORNING - FLASHBACK.

In his bedroom, Richie, who seems to have just woken up, gets out of bed. He then, lays on the floor and does ONE push up. He, then, lays flat on the floor, looking dramatically exhausted.

End of flashback.

 

EXT. A CEMETERY - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie and Beverly on the graveyard bench.

RICHIE

... And I haven't even had a drink today.

BEVERLEY

It's 9 am!

RICHIE

Exactly! You know that's a big deal for me.

They lock eyes for a bit - a silent conversation between them. Until they turn their heads at the same moment, to look ahead at the grave for a few seconds. There's silence.

Richie lights up a cigarette.

BEVERLEY

(without turning to look at him)

Very healthy.

He shrugs, with a smile.

Beverly chuckles and Richie gestures, to offer her a drag of the cigarette. She takes it without hesitation.

RICHIE

Thank you for coming.

BEVERLEY

I didn't come for you. I really liked your mom. Well, I've never had one, she was a nice replacement.

RICHIE

She adored you.

BEVERLEY

I know.

More silence, Beverly hands him the cigarette back. They keep looking ahead at the grave.

BEVERLEY

I know you and I haven't --

RICHIE

Have you had a check-up?

BEVERLEY

Richie, it's fine. I have miss-- It happens all the time.

And, without asking, she reaches for the cigarette, that was placed between Richie's lips. He frowns but doesn't protest. From this moment on, they keep handing the cigarette, back and forth. Like it's something they're used to do.

RICHIE

Does Tom ---

BEVERLEY

No. He doesn't know anything. And he won't, because you will keep quiet.

RICHIE

Okay. So what does he --

BEVERLEY

Richie, I don't wanna talk about it, okay? I'm fine! I'm weirdly fine.

(pause)

In a way that like... Hurts Christian morality, fine.

Richie nods, and the cigarette is already gone. Beverly reaches to take one from her own cigarette patch, and Richie reaches forward to light it up for her. They fall into a long silence again, looking ahead at the grave. They keep sharing the one cigarette.

RICHIE

The other day I did a fart that was exactly like mom's.

BEVERLEY

Good for you. Her farts were cute.

RICHIE

How do you know that?

BEVERLEY

We spent a lot of time together! We were friends.

RICHIE

Bev, she was either a mother figure or a friend, it's impossible to be both.

BEVERLEY

And how am I supposed to know that? 

RICHIE

... Good point.

Pause.

BEVERLEY

I don't think I've farted since...

Long pause.

RICHIE

Since...?

BEVERLEY

Since last week when I confronted my husband and asked him for a divorce.

Richie meets the camera, he tries to act like he doesn't know about that already.

RICHIE

(genuinely)

About fucking time!

And he tries to hug her, but she shields herself with her own body.

BEVERLEY

No, no, no, don't get your sweat on me. I have to go to work after this.

RICHIE

But I'm so happy for you!

BEVERLEY

I know! But I don't want your body fluids as a divorce gift.

Richie just smiles goofily and sits back on his former spot. He turns to the camera with a serious face.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I don't think I can do this.

And he turns to Beverly.

RICHIE

Actually, Bev, I -

CUT TO:

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - DAY.

Richie sits opposite an inscrutable THERAPIST. She is moisturizing her forearms. She has a small notepad on the table. Richie doesn't look so good, there are huge bags under his eyes, he looks exhausted.

THERAPIST

Excuse me, I have dry forearms.

RICHIE

Sure.

THERAPIST

So, why have you come to this section?

RICHIE

It was a birthday gift from my dad.

THERAPIST

Is that a joke?

RICHIE

No.

The therapist reaches for her notepad quickly. She writes something down.

THERAPIST

It would be good not to make jokes here in case anything gets lost in translation.

RICHIE

I don't know if I can do that. I'm a comedian.

The therapist looks at him.

THERAPIST

Is that a joke?

RICHIE

... No.

And she nods, writing more things down.

THERAPIST

Why do you think your dad wanted you to be here?

Richie doesn’t think for a second.

RICHIE

Probably because my mom died after years of surviving cancer, and he is already going to marry another woman, even though he can’t even hear mom’s name. And because my brother and I didn’t speak for months because he thinks I tried to sleep with his wife. Maybe because I can't stop thinking about fucking my future stepbrother, who's straight and married, and because I spent most of my adult life using sex to deflect from the screaming void inside my empty heart, that seems to keep my balls full all the time.

(To camera)

I’m good at this.

(back to the therapist)

And I’m a drunk.

THERAPIST

Are you close to your family?

QUICK FLASHBACK of Richie punching Tom’s face in the engagement announcement night.

RICHIE

We get along.

THERAPIST

Do you talk?

RICHIE

I talk to my sister in law. Or used to, at least.

(pause)

She’s like a living goddess. And a friend.

THERAPIST

The one you didn’t try to sleep with?

Richie nods.

THERAPIST

Do you have other friends?

QUICK FLASHBACK of Richie hugging Stan with all his life, in the backyard.

RICHIE

I have a lot of birds. Like 5 of them. But I only have them because they’re sick, and I’m letting them go as soon as they're better. I have a parrot, though. She’s like, the only regular.

(he laughs)

I love her. She’s like my spirit animal and my grandma’s spirit reincarnated in an animal at the same time.

The therapist looks at him, frowning.

THERAPIST

Is that a joke?

RICHIE

(To camera)

It's true.

To the therapist, he nods - ‘yes’. He draws some air.

Until he starts talking exasperated.

RICHIE

Actually, I have one friend. But he tried to kill himself because I slept with his girlfriend. He doesn't know I was the one who slept with her, though.

(And he quickly adds)

Not a joke.

She nods. She doesn't look alarmed nor shocked about what he just said.

THERAPIST

Tell me about the sex.

RICHIE

With... With his girlfriend?

THERAPIST

Yes.

RICHIE

It was good, you know. Good enough. As good as sex gets.

(Pause)

But we only did it once. I’m not a monster.

THERAPIST

And why did you do it?

Richie takes a glance at the camera, he is ashamed to talk about that.

RICHIE

... Uh... I guess --- It just happened? And I didn’t think much about it as I was doing it, like... I couldn't help myself...? Sometimes when I go two days without sex I think I might die.

(pause)

It's never brought me anything good, though.

THERAPIST

And have you ever tried to stop?

Richie glances at the camera, as if what the therapist just said hasn't ever been a possibility.

RICHIE

What kind of adult gives up on sex?

(To camera)

My balls might rebel against me and explode in some type of suicide mission.

(pause to camera)

That's what I'd do if I was a testicle.

(pause, and he says defensively, to camera)

Not that I think much about it.

The therapist is writing things down on her pad, so there's a pause. She looks up.

THERAPIST

You've just said that it’s never brought you anything good.

Richie stares at her, with a completely blank face. He opens his mouth to speak. He closes it soon after. He thinks for a little bit, and he makes a funny face at her.

RICHIE

Look, I don't need to be analysed. I have a nice life. I just want to exchange the coupon for money.

THERAPIST

It's late for that now.

RICHIE

I've been here for what... Five minutes?

(pause)

I want the money.

The therapist just looks at him, her face still static. He is highly intimidated. He breathes heavily until...

RICHIE

Sex has never brought me anything good -

(long pause)

In a way that sometimes I wish I didn't know that 'fucking' existed. But I know that my body as it is now is the only thing I have left, and when it gets older and... Impotent, I might as well kill it.

Richie feels vulnerable and self-conscious, he has tears in his eyes. He turns to the camera in a 'this is all a show' way.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I've excelled the art of therapy.

But when he looks back at the woman in front of him, he doesn't seem that much confident anymore.

RICHIE

So, it feels like I have some kind of obligation to use it as much as I can, while it still works. And at this point, I don't do it - sex - anymore because I think it's good, but because I somehow owe it to my future lonely, old self, completely depressed in a cheap nursing home.

Pause.

RICHIE

And somehow there isn't anything worse than someone who doesn't want to have sex with me.

(pause)

And either everyone feels like this a little and they're just not talking about it... Or I am completely fucking alone. Which isn't funny.

The therapist doesn't say a thing, she keeps looking at him with the same static face. He feels exposed, as if his own words got out of his control. They look at each other for several seconds.

THERAPIST

You seem to know that that isn't healthy behavior.

RICHIE

I don't do healthy. I've never put a vegetable in my mouth by choice in my entire life.

THERAPIST

And to you that'something worth bragging about?

Richie widens his eyes at the camera, as if he’s just had a realization, an epiphany.

RICHIE

(To camera)

Oh, shit. I'm sick. I need to give up on sex.

CUT TO:

INT. RICHIE’S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - FLASH FORWARD.

Richie is in his living room, sobbing with his cellphone in hands. He is holding a Diet Coke. He takes a dramatic swing. And then, back on his phone he opens an app folder named ‘SEX’.

There are all of the apps there: from Tinder and Grindr, to the more indie ones. He selects them all. And with his thumb shaking, he clicks on ”DELETE“. And he throws his phone at the other side of the couch.

He sobs, and he sobs. He takes another dramatic sip on the diet coke. He gags, because he absolutely hates it.

END OF FLASH FORWARD.

 

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS.

Richie is back in the therapist’s office. He finishes his thought:

RICHIE

(To camera)

For Stan. This is my Holy Order day.

CUT TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE RICHIE’S FLAT - NIGHT - FLASH FORWARD.

Richie is just on his way out of his building. But as he is closing the door behind him, the RIMMING GUY from EPISODE 2, approaches him.

RIMMING GUY

Hey, Richie. ’Wanna have sex?

Pause. Richie is conflicted as if this is the dilemma of his life.

RICHIE

No!

He turns and runs away down the street.

RIMMING GUY

(calling after him, desperate)

Can I at least suck you off?

RICHIE

(Screams)

Get out of my head!

And even though Richie is already far away, the guy screams:

RIMMING GUY

I could give you head!

End of flash forward.

 

EXT. A CEMETERY - MORNING.

We’re back with Richie and Beverly, sitting at the bench right in front of Richie’s mom’s grave. The scene continues from the moment it stopped.

 

RICHIE

... I - Actually I... Think I might have to tell you something but I don’t know if I should because of the moral dilemma of it all...

Beverly just stares at him.

BEVERLY

Since when do you care about morality?

Richie gives the camera a look of ’that's a good point’.

RICHIE

Hey! I do have morals.

BEVERLY

That's not what I said.

Richie gives the camera another look. He looks ahead at the grave, and without turning his head, he starts talking:

RICHIE

Okay, look -

And the scene...

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM - EARLY EVENING.

Richie is in the bathroom, in his flat. He is sitting on the toilet. His pajama bottoms are lowered to his knees.

As he uses the toilet, Richie is talking on the phone, recording a voicemail.

RICHIE

(into the phone)

... I know we don’t exactly keep in touch. But I’m just calling to tell you that I’ve received your text. And... I mean... Maybe we should meet...? I've been giving all this mess a lot of thought lately, and I really thought I had made the right choice, because that's always the right choice, right? I mean, lying is good as long as you're doing it to protect the people you love. That's —- that’s the conclusion people always make in like --- movies.

(pause)

But I've been watching this show, lately. It’s called The Good Place. And there’s this character, a philosophy professor who’s like... In hell. And he like, studied a lot about morality... And there's this guy he talks about, named Kant - not like with a C and an U but with a K and an A. Who says that lying is always wrong even if it's the only thing that can keep your mom from getting killed... Which is useless information for me because my mom is already dead and I didn't snitch her to cancer or anything.

(pause, he swallows)

That was a joke.

 

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - DAY.

We’re back with Richie in the therapist’s Office. Again, the therapist is moisturizing her forearms.

THERAPIST

Does the truth itself - of you having had betrayed your friend - hunt you down or is it just the ghosts of the consequences of your actions?

Richie widens his eyes at the camera. He stares at her for a mild second, he squints at her as if he's thinking really hard.

RICHIE

(To camera)

I don’t think I understand her English.

RICHIE

Sorry, I -— could you put that in a sentence, please?

The therapist stares at him.

THERAPIST

I mean that - do you feel guilty BECAUSE you betrayed your friend, or do you only feel this guilt in you because the act of betrayal triggered him to harm himself?

Richie swallows. He refuses to meet the camera. He had understood the question the first time around, but he refused to acknowledge it. Now he has no choice.

RICHIE

... I don’t know.

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM - EARLY EVENING - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie in the bathroom. He is sitting on the toiled. His pants are lowered to his knees.

As he uses the toilet, Richie is still talking on the phone, recording the same a voicemail.

 

RICHIE

(into the phone)

... Anyways, I decided to google this whole morals thing, and I found a Wikipedia page on these guys who didn't agree with the Kant - with a K and an A. They believed in like... Moral relativism, which is like... You totally should lie if that means that you're saving your mom's life. So, there's no way for you to draw a line on... Lying. And I realized that I've been following these guys my whole life even if I didn't really know they existed! And maybe that didn't work for me, because I'm not really a good person!

CUT TO:

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - DAY.

And we're back with Richie and his therapist, in the therapist's office.

RICHIE

I wasn't too afraid of the truth when I didn't think it would come out. I thought I'd just move on, try not to think about it and give my friend the support he needed to heal.

THERAPIST

And now there's a possibility that it will come out?

Richie draws a breath, he looks at the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I forgot to tell her about that.

RICHIE

Didn't I mention that my brother knows about it and he is blackmailing me. Because my friend, who's currently living at a mental health retreat, is coming back home. And my brother's told me that if I don’t convince his wife not to divorce him, he is telling my friend that I was the one who slept with his girlfriend?

There's a big pause, because the therapist is moisturizing her arms.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Great timing.

THERAPIST

... And why are you so afraid of the truth coming out?

RICHIE

Because the cheating was what caused him to... To harm himself in the first place.

The therapist nods, and writes something down.

RICHIE

(To camera)

She's probably writing that I have a longing to have sex with my dead mother.

(Pause)

That’s all therapists think about.

THERAPIST

So, you think it was your fault? That he attempted suicide?

RICHIE

Well, I did sleep with his girlfriend.

THERAPIST

Lots of people get cheated on by their partners, and they don’t kill themselves.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Fucking rude.

THERAPIST

I mean that the cheating may have been the trigger, but it wasn't the cause. There's no one to blame.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Fucking rude.

RICHIE

That doesn't matter though, does it? I just don't want him to try again because someone tells him that his friend of 28 years fucked him over.

THERAPIST

What I'm saying is that you can be there for him but you can't protect him from everything because it might get him to do it again. Being protected is not the same as healing. Healing is about treatment, and about forgiving yourself and others.

(pause)

That, you can do to yourself and maybe your friend should have the right to do it too. And that shouldn’t be your choice to make. But it is in this case.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I bet she's just like that hot European serial killer psychiatrist from the TV show, that convinces his patients to do horrible things by using elaborated sentences.

And the scene...

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS.

Richie is sitting on the toilet, finishing his voicemail.

RICHIE

(into the phone)

So, I've been thinking that BECAUSE of that, I shouldn't keep trying to draw the lines anymore, because I'm not ---- god or... Or... a good person. And I love Stan. I really do. And I want him to be happy and healthy. But he IS happy and healthy right now! And I mean, maybe it's not my job to protect him from me... But it is my job to try to be a better person for him. Because I love him.

CUT TO:

EXT. A CEMETERY - DAY

Back with Richie, Beverly and their cigarette in the cemetery.

RICHIE

--- sorry, it's really hard.

BEVERLY

Richie, spit it out!

Richie is almost hyperventilating.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I can't do this.

HARD CUT TO:

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS.

And the scene cuts back to the therapist office, Richie is talking, already in the middle of a thought.

RICHIE

... And I'm afraid that if I tell Beverly --

(pause)

I've mentioned her name, right?

THERAPIST

Yes, you did. Beverly, your sister in law.

RICHIE

Exactly, I'm afraid that If I tell her that my brother is blackmailing me like that, she will like... Give up on the divorce. To protect me.

THERAPIST

Then your brother was right, on sending you on the job?

RICHIE

(to camera)

Fucking rude.

To her, Richie just shrugs.

THERAPIST

You see, you think that's your choice to make, too? You should choose for her?

Richie opens his mouth, he doesn't know what to say.

 

EXT. A CEMETERY - CONTINUOUS

Back with Richie and the Beverly on the cemetery bench. Richie is trying to encourage himself.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I can do this.

RICHIE

(to Beverly)

Look, Bev, Tom told me about the divorce.

BEVERLY

He did?

RICHIE

Yeah, and... Well...

But then, Beverly is looking down at her phone and standing up.

BEVERLY

Shit. I really gotta go to work.

He stands up too.

BEVERLY

We're talking again, right?

RICHIE

Absolutely.

BEVERLY

Then, you can tell me ALL about it some other time.

(pause)

Was he sad? Was he crying? Was he angry? Did he show up drunk at your doorstep in the middle of the night?

Richie is opening his mouth to answer, but she keeps going:

BEVERLY

Those are answers I can't hear right now because I'm late. I have a meeting with this architect who's designing our new office in Manhattan. And I'm the boss. So I don't get the luxury of losing my job if I'm late. I just lose lots of money. Because he's expensive.

As her long line progresses, Richie looks at her with bigger heart eyes.

RICHIE

Architect, uh? Is he hot?

BEVERLY

Richie! That's not appropriate.

RICHIE

Sorry, objectively speaking, is he attractive?

BEVERLY

It's none of your business.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He's hot.

BEVERLY

... And I'm really late, so...

RICHIE

(to camera)

And they're probably gonna fuck.

RICHIE

I love you.

She smiles, wrinkles her nose at him and walks away, touching his shoulder lightly as she walks past him. And as he watches her leave, he looks sideways at the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

I couldn’t do it.

And he sits back down, looking ahead at his mother's grave.

CUT TO:

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS.

In the therapist's office, Richie is staring at the therapist in silence. They’re looking into each other’s eyes in some type of silent competition.

RICHIE

(to camera)

This is embarrassing.

RICHIE

What do you suggest I do?

THERAPIST

You know what to do.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Psychoanalysis is not even science.

(to therapist)

No, I don't.

(to camera)

I looked it up.

THERAPIST

Yes, you do.

RICHIE

(to camera)

It would be the dumbest pseudo-science if astrology didn't exist.

(to therapist)

I don't!

THERAPIST

Yes, you do!

RICHIE

(to camera)

I take it back, psychoanalysis is the dumbest pseudo-science of our time.

(to therapist)

I don't!

He has a realization:

RICHIE

(to camera)

Wait a minute, what about flat-earthers?

THERAPIST

You do!

RICHIE

(to camera)

Oh, yeah, forget about them.

(to therapist)

I don--

CUT TO:

EXT. A CEMETERY - CONTINUOUS.

Richie is sitting alone on the bench, facing his mom's grave. Right after Beverly left.

He looks around to see if there's anyone near him, and he starts talking to it:

RICHIE

It's a pity that you didn't want to be cremated. Coming to a graveyard to see you is depressing.

(pause, he looks around again)

It would be easier if you were in a nice pot on dad's top-shelf. Right next to that fishing award that looks like a... Fish-shaped dildo.

(pause)

I mean, if I think about it, here at least I don't have to see him, to see you. And by 'him', I mean dad. Not the fish-shaped dildo.

(pause)

And the graveyard kind of brings a dramatic touch to this whole being dead thing. It's very you.

(pause, looks around again, and he says in a whisper)

And the flowers are nice.

He frowns. He contemplates the silence around him, and the lack of response. He wets his lips, and turns to the camera with a smug smile:

RICHIE

(to camera)

I hope that the worms feeding on her corpse had a great time listening to my monologue.

 

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie in the therapist's office, finally for the last time.

RICHIE

I don't! I don't know what to do.

She opens her mouth to say 'you do', again. But he's still talking.

RICHIE

Because I fucked up my family. And I fucked up my friend by fucking his girlfriend.

And Richie laughs, he laughs, and he laughs. And as he is laughing he is also crying.

She just stares at him. And then she stands up.

THERAPIST

Will I see you next week?

RICHIE

What?

THERAPIST

Your time is up. Will I see you next week?

Richie blinks: he is ashamed of the tears, and he is ashamed of his words. He refuses to meet the camera.

RICHIE

No... I - I only had one coupon, sorry.

And he is rushing out the door.

THERAPIST

But-

And he is already out.

 

EXT. OUTSIDE THE THERAPIST'S BUILDING - CONTINUOUS

Richie appears rushing down the stairs, as if he was getting chased. As he hits the sidewalk, he keeps running.

The camera is static and he gives it a look and a thumbs-up as he passes next to it.

 

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - CONTINUOUS.

Richie is running, until he stops. He is out of breath. He looks back to see if he is far enough from the building. Hyperventilating, he looks at the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I need a drink.

HARD CUT TO:

INT. A SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - DAY.

The camera is zooming in Richie's face, his eyes are wide open, and his neck veins are popping out. It starts zooming out, revealing that he is the only person standing up, out of a group of people that are sitting on chairs, organized on a circle.

This is all happening at a huge school gymnasium. By the side of the circle, there's a small table with water and snacks.

Every single one of these people, are looking up at Richie, in expectation. Someone pops a bubblegum and it's the only sound in the middle of complete silence, and Richie seems to be wakened up by it.

The camera is close to him again, and it shows in detail, as he swallows and his Adam's apple moves up and down almost in slow motion.

Right in front of him, on the circle, there's an OLDER BALD MAN wearing a sweater vest. The man gestures - 'go on'.

RICHIE

My name is Richie, and I'm an alcoholic.

EVERYONE

Hey, Richie.

RICHIE

I've been - uh - I've been sober for 2 days. It may sound like nothing, but it's not nothing, because I've never tried to quit before. I've been drinking everyday for years, now, I haven't really counted, sorry. I don't like, get drunk everyday. But I - uh - drink a lot.

He stops talking, and he looks around. Everyone is staring up at him. Then he looks at the OLDER BALD MAN, waiting for him to say something.

OLDER BALD MAN

And why did you decide to quit?

Richie is kind of surprised by the question, but he doesn't have a hard time finding an answer.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Easy, easy. I know why -

 

EXT. OUTSIDE DAD'S BUILDING - NIGHT - FLASHBACK.

Flashback from EPISODE TWO where Richie is right outside his dad's door, hammering relentlessly at the door and screaming 'Hello...!'.

Only this time, the filming focuses on the Vodka bottle he is holding.

 

INT. A SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie, in the AA meeting.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I know why, I'll just say: I'm doing it because...

INT. RICHIE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK.

Richie sitting on his couch, with PATTY. They're making out. The scene cuts out, as it shows the alcohol bottles on the floor.

 

INT. A SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie. He is really nervous, his fists are clenching, his neck veins popping out.

RICHIE

Because... Uh... I'll just say that I'm doing this for the people I love...

INT. COUNTRY'S HOUSE HALL - FLASHBACK - 1 YEAR BEFORE.

It's the day of mom's funeral. The broad hall is filled by people wearing black, some of them are crying, some are not.

The room is decorated with flowers, and in the middle of it there's a closed coffin.

Richie is standing right next to the coffin, with his water bottle in hands. He drinks the last drop of it, and then he gags, looking around, trying to act normal. Until he throws up right next to his mom's coffin, and everyone in the room turns to him, no one even looks surprised.

 

INT. A SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - CONTINUOUS.

And we're back with Richie. He looks even more nervous, and even a bit sick. To the camera, he tries to sound normal:

RICHIE

(to camera)

I'll just say it.

He looks around, everyone is looking up at him.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I'll just say it. I'll say: "Because I don't want to hurt the people I love anymore.". It's easy, I'll just say it.

He looks around one more time, the BALD OLDER MAN is staring at him, gesturing and nodding - 'go on'.

RICHIE

(to camera)

That's it. I'll say it.

And to the people, he clears his throat.

RICHIE

I decided to quit because...

(long pause)

I am having problems getting boners.

(to camera)

What am I saying?

(back to the people)

And my doctor gave me an ultimatum that if I didn't stop drinking immediately...

(to camera)

What am I saying?

(back to the people)

I wouldn't be allowed to perform sexually with him...

(to camera)

With him?

(back to the people)

... or with... Anyone... Anymore.

He looks around, everyone is looking at him, some of them have their mouths hanging open, others have their eyebrows raised. Richie sits back on the chair immediately. The OLDER BALD GUY speaks up:

OLDER BALD MAN

What do we say to Richie, everyone?

EVERYONE

Thank you, Richie.

Richie sinks into the chair, utterly embarrassed.

 

INT. BATHROOM - EARLY EVENING.

We're finally back with Richie in the bathroom. His pants are down his knees, and he still is talking on the phone, recording the voicemail. Only this time, it's not just a 'cut to', or a glimpse at a moment, but a real scene. So the camera starts from outside the open door of the bathroom, and slowly invades the room, as he speaks, until it's next to Richie's face:

 

RICHIE

... I love him. And maybe he should have the right to choose if he still loves me despite of what I did. Or maybe not. Maybe this is insane and I should protect him, and let him move on. I don’t know. I just really want to talk to you about it.

(pause)

Anyways, Patty, call me back so we can meet somewhere, okay? We should talk about this. And sorry for the long message.

(pause)

I was taking a dump.

And he hangs up. He closes his eyes, draws a long breath and holds it. A mild second after that, he lets the breath out, and opens his eyes.

He flushes the toilet, and instead of pulling up his pants, he stands up and starts undressing. And even though he's only being filmed waist up, he frowns at the camera.

RICHIE

(gesturing to his face)

Eyes up here.

And the camera starts filming him chest up. He nods at it in a gesture of approval. Then, he walks to the shower stool, he turns it on and tests the water.

 

INT. RICHIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT - MOMENTS LATER.

Richie is in his bedroom, he has a towel around his waist, his hair is wet. He is looking through his closet: a line of similar Hawaiian shirts, in different colors. Until he picks one.

He opens a drawer, revealing lots of underwear messily mixed in it, not at all organized. As he puts his hand in there to pick one, he ends up ‘fishing’ a tiny bottle of lube. He picks it up and he stares at it. He almost looks emotional. He stares and stares, and then his eyes flick up a little bit and he seems to be reminded that “we’re” there, so he throws the bottle back in and closes the drawer in a hurry.

And then walks away from the room, with the shirt in hands. Visibly avoiding the camera.

 

EXT. OUTSIDE RICHIE’S FLAT - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

Richie leaves the building, his hair still wet, he's wearing the blue Hawaiian shirt. He walks to his car.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I haven't gone to my bar in a few days, because I couldn't stay near all the booze. And the hot people all over me.

And he gets in his car.

 

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

The is parked near the sidewalk, and Richie gets out of it, and starts walking.

RICHIE

(to camera)

But I had to come today, because every Saturday night I take over the stage at 8 pm, and I do my weekly stand up routine.

(pause, he says with a big smile)

I don't mean to brag, but some people in the neighborhood actually come every week just to watch it.

As he keeps walking, he frowns to himself.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I don't think I've introduced the bar properly...? I really should have because...

And he stops walking. The camera opens to reveal the whole front of the building, dramatically, - 'Your bird can drink' bar. It's not a fancy one. It's really old - not in a charming way - and the whole front is badly maintained.

But Richie couldn't look prouder as he presents it:

RICHIE

(to camera)

... New York's hottest bar is Your Bird Can Drink.

And he opens the bar door in a push, walking in. The camera follows him in.

He is now inside his empty bar. He turns to the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

This bar has everything.

He pauses, and starts counting with his fingers as he makes a list of what the bar has:

RICHIE

(to camera)

Birds.

 

EXT. BAR’S BACKYARD - NIGHT - FLASH.

The bar backyard is small, and it's surrounded by buildings, but it's really cozy. There are lights hanging, and crossing the open space. There are also bird cages hanging on the corners, except for one bird - a Parrot, who has a bigger 'open' cage. There are also wooden tables, and some benches.

The birds sing loudly and messily. And there are people occupying every table, also talking. The camera approaches the table closer to HILLARY the parrot's cage.

A young woman on the table, shushes her friends to take a phone-call, and as soon as she puts the phone on her ear...

HILLARY

(slowly)

Go fuck yourself...!

 

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

We're back with Richie in the bar's lounge. He continues his list.

RICHIE

(to camera)

The cheapest booze.

 

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - FLASHBACK.

Richie is near the bar's counter, with a glass of scotch in hands. He walks towards the stage, he stumbles as he does that. He is completely wasted.

Without going up the stage, he tries to get the microphone, which is easy for him because he is really tall. But he ends up letting the mic's stick fall on himself, and as he tries to get the mic itself, he gets wrapped up in strings.

Until he manages to hold the mic properly, and he screams into it.

RICHIE

Attention, everyone.

He cringes at the loud feedback his screaming has caused on the mic.

RICHIE

Tonight, all the booze is completely free...

The people cheer.

RICHIE

... to each and every one of you who volunteers to suck my dick.

And people keep on cheering, they all take it as a joke.

End of flashback.

 

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present, sober Richie keeps making his list, proudly.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Bathrooms that you can use to have sex without holding up the line.

INT. BAR'S BATHROOM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK.

The bathroom is huge, and it has an impressive number of stalls. By the counter-top of the sinks, there's two guys clearly sniffing coke and one guy, with them, smoking weed. This third guy doesn't look at all interested in the coke.

By the wall, in the back of the bathroom, there's another guy sitting on the floor crying.

RICHIE stumbles into the bathroom, making out roughly with a GUY. No one who's there looks bothered or even turn to look at them.

They don't stop kissing as they stumble towards one of the open stalls. They close the door behind them, and we can only see their legs from the outside, until one of them (we can't tell who), gets down on one knee, and the other ends up hammering the stall door with his fists, as he lets out a long sigh.

The WEED GUY turns to his friends and speaks as one of his friends takes a sniff, and the other waits for his turn, holding a rolled-up dollar and a credit card:

WEED GUY

I wonder if he’s proposing.

End of flashback.

 

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

Richie is now sitting at one of the tables, he looks like he's thinking about that memory with lots of affection as if it's a dream that's long gone.

But he soon snaps out of it and keeps making his list:

RICHIE

An open mic.

 

INT. THE BAR. STAGE. - NIGHT - FLASHBACK.

On the bar's small stage, there's a cute OLD LADY, with a guitar in hands. There's a strong spotlight on her. On the stage's wall, a sign can be seen: "only funny stuff allowed", and beneath that, another sign: "hate speech is not funny".

She is playing the guitar, kind of randomly, and then she sings into the mic, in a very "Phoebe Buffay" way.

OLD LADY

(singing and playing guitar)

I was young in the sixties

I didn't go to Woodstock

Most of those unholy hippies

Are alive no more.

She stops singing and holds her guitar in the air with one hand, and then she screams into the mic:

OLD LADY

(screams)

THEY'RE IN HELL!

By the side of the stage, we can see a desperate STAN trying to get her attention with random noises, she turns to him in a side-eye.

STAN

(in a whisper voice, but really loudly)

I need to ask you to leave the stage, ma'am.

End of flashback.

 

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie sitting at the table of his empty bar, he keeps doing his list.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Although, that's mostly for amateur stand up comedians.

INT. THE BAR. STAGE. - NIGHT - FLASHBACK.

On the bar's small stage, there's a YOUNG MAN who looks very nervous. He's holding a notepad, and very visibly shaking.

YOUNG MAN

(reading into the note pad)

So, what's with these..... Phones these days, am I right? The other day I was - I was with this girl in bed, but she was like.... Texting in the middle of the.... Of the sex.

And the young man looks around, everyone is looking at him but no one's laughing. That was his punchline and no one is laughing. So he says, already looking regretful:

YOUNG MAN

And then --- and then --- I remembered that I was a virgin.

And people are still not laughing.

End of flashback.

 

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie at the same spot. He keeps going:

RICHIE

(to camera)

I'm the only professional who's ever set foot on that stage. And I'm cool with that.

It's the end of the sequence of back in forths, although it's still impossible to tell.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BAR. STAGE. - LATER THAT NIGHT.

Richie is on top the small stage, there's a big spotlight on him. The bar is literally crowded with people watching him attentively.

He is in middle of his stand up routine.

RICHIE

... So, for those who come here every week - first of all, thank you. And second of all, you guys must be sick of hearing me talk about my dead mother. And I hear you! I understand! I'm sick of her too. I'm sick of taking 30-second showers, because I can't be so sure that her ghost isn't watching me naked.

(pause)

Or... watching me do... other things.

The people laugh at how absurd that sounds. As he waits for the laughter to stop, he turns to the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

I hate myself.

And then he is back with the people:

RICHIE

But the reason why I'm bringing this up today, is because something happened these days: My father is engaged to another woman.

(pause)

I mean, of course it's another woman, my mom is dead. Why would my dad marry someone who's dead? But then again, it would make all the sense.

The people don't laugh, but he spots anyways. Since there's a long pause, some people chuckle.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Horrible punchline.

RICHIE

It would make all the sense, because the vow is "until death do us apart", am I right? So, when your spouse dies, the only logical, Christian thing to do is to remarry the fucking corpse!

And then the crowd cracks up, he looks at the camera, relieved.

RICHIE

You promised to god you would, goddammit! No one keeps a promise these days.

And then he pauses for a few chuckles, and keeps going:

RICHIE

But my dad is not marrying my dead mom. He's a bad catholic.

(pause)

He is marrying the most back-stabbing passive-aggressive human being I've ever met.

He stops, but just a few people laugh. A DRUNK screams from the crowd:

DRUNK

You suck!

He blinks, but he keeps going:

RICHIE

... Apart from my mom, of course.

(to camera)

That's a lie.

(to the crowd)

I guess my dad has a type.

And the crowd is laughing.

RICHIE

(to camera)

It's not like mom's here to defend herself.

 

INT. THE BAR - NIGHT - A BIT LATER THAT NIGHT.

Richie is sweaty from his long set. He approaches the bar's counter. The barman, BILL, who's serving someone shoots a look at him.

 

RICHIE

(to camera)

That's Bill. He's like a badass writer. But -

And Bill is right in front of him.

BILL

Hey, Richie.

RICHIE

(nods at him)

Bill...

(to camera)

But he has like... An aneurysm every time he's finishing a book, so he's written a dozen of them, but has never finished one.

BILL

Congrats, man. You've crowded the place.

RICHIE

I did a terrible set today. TERRIBLE. I couldn't face anyone in the crowd. I need a drink.

(to camera)

So, he's our barman.

(to Bill)

Please, big Bill.

BILL

I'm not giving you alcohol.

RICHIE

(to camera)

And he promised to keep me from drinking and having sex tonight.

(to Bill)

You know what? I don't think I've EVER done a stand up routine sober before, like EVER. Sober me isn't funny! Did you hear me talk about marriage vows?

BILL

Yes, Richie.

RICHIE

It sucked! People pity-laughed at me.

BILL

I thought it was funny...

RICHIE

See...? I don't need your pity.

Bill just rolls his eyes and walks to the other side of the bar, to approach a customer.

Richie is left alone by the counter, he feels desperate and self-conscious without a glass to hold. He looks to his left, there are people laughing with drinks in hands. He looks to his right, there's a clearly EUROPEAN GUY by himself holding a drink. He freezes his look. He looks at the camera side-ways:

RICHIE

(to camera)

It doesn't hurt to look.

But then, the guy notices that he is staring, and he simply smiles at him.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I'm screwed.

INT. THE BAR. BY THE COUNTER - NIGHT - MOMENTS LATER.

Richie is now standing right next to the EUROPEAN GUY, who he now knows is British. They're talking and laughing.

EUROPEAN GUY

(in a posh, Cambridge accent)

But your American accent is SO bloody convincing!

RICHIE

(in a fake British accent)

I know! But as I like to say - I'm not at all, a comedian. I'm an actor, above all.

EUROPEAN GUY

That's SO profound, mate. I mean it.

RICHIE

(to camera, in his usual accent)

We're just talking. 'Just talking.

EUROPEAN GUY

You're incredibly talented.

RICHIE

(to camera, in his usual accent)

Talking is not sexual. 'Not a sexual activity.

And he takes Richie's hand on the counter.

Richie widens his eyes at the camera, he immediately looks to his right desperately, looking for Bill, but he is at the other side of the bar, and he isn't paying attention. With no other option, Richie turns back to look at the European guy, and as soon as he does that, the guy's gaze drops to his lips. Richie swallows, he is in complete desperation.

RICHIE

(to camera, in his normal accent)

Oh, shit. I'm gonna have sex with him.

And he turns his own hand to wrap it with the guy's, moving both of their hands, to rest on the inside of the guy's thigh.

RICHIE

(to camera)

My hand is on his thigh.

And he starts getting closer to the guy, to kiss him.

RICHIE

(to camera, as he gets closer)

I'm gonna kiss him.

(and closer)

The last time I kissed someone on the lips and didn't have sex with them, I was 17.

(and closer)

I'm getting closer.

(and closer, closing his eyes)

I'm SO gonna have sex with him.

But when he's just about to touch his lips, he hears someone clearing their throat behind him, and he backs away. He looks back, and, surprisingly, EDDIE is just standing there. Richie is utterly surprised, in a cheerful way.

RICHIE

(cheerful, accentuating his British accent)

Eddie!

EDDIE

(he talks REALLY fast)

Oh my god, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to-- it's just that I wanted to say hi, but when I realized you guys were at it, I was already here. And I had to do something, or it would be just weird to stand here as you guys kissed, and ---

But he is interrupted by Richie who walks to his side and wraps one arm around him.

RICHIE

(to the European Guy, with a British accent still)

This is my brother, Eddie.

EDDIE

(he's frowning at the accent)

... Future stepbrother.

RICHIE

Yeah, born and raised in America, poor thing. Probably has seen more teenagers with bloody guns in secondary school, than the two of us in our entire lives. Combined!

EUROPEAN GUY

(nodding, agreeing with him)

And I was in the military!

Richie gives the camera a lustful look at that, that soon turns into a look of disappointment, because he can't have him anymore.

EDDIE

Actually I haven't ---

But the European Guy is offering his hand to Eddie.

EUROPEAN GUY

Pleasure to meet you, Eddie.

And Eddie takes his hand, in a firm handshake. Richie gives the camera a cheeky look and eyebrows' raise at that.

RICHIE

(to the European guy)

Unfortunately, my little American bro and I have to catch up, right, Eddie?

EDDIE

Uh...

RICHIE

It was simply lovely to meet you.

And he pats the guy on the shoulder.

EUROPEAN GUY

Can I have your numb-

But Richie is already walking away, dragging Eddie by their side hug. He only stops when they're far away from the guy. Richie sighs relieved and turns to Eddie.

RICHIE

(in his normal accent)

Shit. Hey!

EDDIE

(frowning)

You have a terrible British accent.

RICHIE

Really? The dude seemed convinced.

EDDIE

(still frowning)

Because he was too busy trying to get in your pants, maybe?

RICHIE

Yeah, good point. Thank you, by the way. You saved me.

EDDIE

Did I? Shit, I was ready to apologize! You seemed to be really into him.

RICHIE

Exactly! You saved me from myself.

Eddie frowns even more, but he doesn't make any more questions.

RICHIE

So, what are you doing here?

EDDIE

My wife - uh - she went on a night out with her girlfriend, so...

Richie gives a cheeky, impressed look at the camera and interrupts him:

RICHIE

An open marriage? Very modern.

Eddie stares at him, he doesn't understand it at first. Until he does.

EDDIE

Oh no! I mean girlfriend like, a friend who's a girl, not like girlfriend girlfriend.

RICHIE

Oh, shit. Sorry, I just assumed...

EDDIE

(exasperated)

My marriage isn't open. It's very traditional. Like, very... Closed.

Richie turns cheekily to the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

Not a problem for me.

EDDIE

What?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

You said: 'not a problem for me'.

RICHIE

No, I didn't!

EDDIE

Yes, you did!

Richie looks at the camera, he doesn’t know what to do.

RICHIE

Uh... Okay. Uh, I meant that I don’t have a problem with closed marriages! Like I’m not prejudiced. I love closed people and... Closed marriages. Closed places too. I was actually in the closet until I was like... 19. So I get the appeal...

(Pause)

... of closed... Things.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Nailed it.

Eddie frowns at him. But he visibly decides to brush it off.

EDDIE

Okay...

Long silence.

EDDIE

... Anyways, I saw the announcement to your show tonight, in your stories. On Instagram.

Richie looks flatted.

RICHIE

Aw, you watch my stories?

EDDIE

I was just passing through, idiot. I'm not a creep.

And Richie shrugs.

RICHIE

Gee, dude. I never said you were!

EDDIE

Okay, asshole. Let me finish a whole sentence for once...?

Richie nods, silently.

EDDIE

Okay, so I decided to pop by, because we really have some best men stuff to discuss, like appointments to make with each other, because I have a really busy schedule at work and everything.

Richie nods at him, with a blank face, so he keeps going:

EDDIE

... And because I wanted to see if you were any good. At being a comedian.

He waits for Richie to respond, but Richie just looks at him.

EDDIE

I'm finished. You can talk now.

RICHIE

Right. Uh, okay. And... Am I? Any good, I mean. Am I good?

EDDIE

I can't say that you're good because you badmouthed the fuck out of my fucking mother!

And Richie seems to be reminded of all the things he’s said.

RICHIE

Oh, fuck! Dude, sorry about that. I didn’t know I had...

(to camera)

... family? We're not family, right? I don't want him thinking we're family.

(to Eddie)

... The fucking celebrity department of... Of the... thought police in the audience.

(To camera)

I hate myself.

For a moment of subtle sympathy, Eddie pushes him slightly on the shoulder, even though he has an angry face on. Richie turns to the camera, as if he’s got the chills.

RICHIE

(To camera, in a high pitched voice)

Shoulder touch.

EDDIE

But anyways, I don’t know about good, but I’m really convinced that you’re not funny. At all.

And Richie actually smiles at him.

RICHIE

But like... Jerry Seinfeld not funny or Ricky Gervais not funny?

As Eddie opens his mouth to speak, Richie interrupts:

RICHIE

Hey, hey, hey, hey you’d better think for a bit before you say anything.

And Eddie widens his eyes at him.

EDDIE

There’s a right answer, right? It’s one of those questions that if I say the wrong answer, you’re kicking me out and never talking to me again?

RICHIE

Yes. EXACTLY! There TOTALLY is a right answer. And it’s OBVIOUS.

EDDIE

Okay, I'll just go for obvious.

(pause)

Ric—-

But Richie is making the most dramatic face of outrage Eddie has ever seen.

EDDIE

—-Jerry Seinfeld.

And in a heartbeat, Richie‘s face drops and it turns into a big smile. He smiles like a child, and pretends to wipe away emotional tears from his eyes.

RICHIE

Thank you.

And Eddie can't help but smile back.

 

EXT. THE BAR. BACKYARD - NIGHT - MOMENTS LATER.

The backyard of the bar is not so full of people, but there are background groups of young people sitting at the tables. The birds sing messily as usual, and Hillary’s cage is empty.

Richie and Eddie sit together on one of the benches at the corner of the backyard. Eddie has a huge glass of beer in hands, and he is talking about something, enthusiastically.

 

EDDIE

So, there are things we need to decide: Tux or suit? Necktie or bow tie? And besides that, we need to ensure that it’s all received AND tailored. That’s not your dad’s job, it’s OUR job.

As he keeps talking, Richie turns to the camera:

 

RICHIE

(To camera)

He's been going on and on about the duties of the perfect best men for 30 minutes now.

EDDIE

And about the bachelor’s party...

RICHIE

(To camera)

It's so cute.

EDDIE

... We really need to consider that your dad is in his 60s and we can’t have him dying or...

Richie slightly moves his eyes from Eddie to the beer in his hand.

RICHIE

(to camera)

But that beer has been staring at me.

EDDIE

...Or overdosing or falling in love with a stripper...

Richie is watching him in awe, nodding and smiling.

EDDIE

... Sorry, dude. Uh, sorry.

And Richie is waken up from his ‘listening with heart eyes’ mode.

RICHIE

(in a low voice)

What?

EDDIE

Don't you want a drink? Uh, I think this is the first time that we’re talking and you aren’t, uh, drun—- under the effect of alcohol...? And it's the first appropriate time for a drink. Surprisingly.

(pause)

Because we’re at a bar.

RICHIE

Oh, no, no, I understand. It’s just that...

(Pause)

I quit.

Eddie just frowns at him.

EDDIE

But you said you've never quit.

RICHIE

That's true. It's my first time.

And Eddie just stares at him.

RICHIE

(In a joking tone)

... I’m a virgin, Eds. Be tender.

And Eddie just keeps staring, his furrowed eyebrows growing more visible each second. Richie just looks vulnerable now, he looks at the camera, giving it a questioning look. And then he turns to Eddie:

RICHIE

(nearly in a whisper)

That was a joke.

For a few more seconds, Eddie still is silent, until he bursts:

EDDIE

Are you an idiot or something? JESUS. What the fuck?

RICHIE

What? What did I do?

EDDIE

You’re getting sober and you came to A BAR? Full of people DRINKING? I have been literally rubbing my glass of beer in your face for an hour and you didn’t say anything!

Pause, he is very upset.

EDDIE

You should have told me!

RICHIE

... Okay. Uh. First of all, this is my bar. I have to come. I have to pay the bills and all, and... I guess I didn’t HAVE to come but I can’t not do my show and — yeah. It‘s basically it.

EDDIE

So, you're okay with this? It’s that easy for you?

RICHIE

Of course not, I’m actually going crazy here.

(To camera)

All the booze around me have little smirky faces and I can’t wait to get home so I can throw myself off the building.

(Back to Eddie)

But it’s okay, really. It’s —

But Eddie is standing up.

RICHIE

... Where are you going?

EDDIE

We're leaving.

RICHIE

(To camera)

Bossy...

But Richie doesn’t move a muscle to stand up, and Eddie seems to reconsider his approach.

EDDIE

... If you want to...? I mean, this is ridiculous. You're torturing yourself.

Richie still hasn’t moved.

EDDIE

Come on, dude.

And Richie sends the camera a cheeky look.

RICHIE

Only if... Only if...

(To camera)

I don’t know what to say.

(To Eddie)

... You show me your tattoos.

Richie is surprised by his own suggestion and Eddie raises his eyebrows at him.

EDDIE

That would be inappropriate.

There’s a pause in which Richie stares at him with his mouth hanging open.

RICHIE

(excited)

Why — Uh — Does that mean what I think it means?

EDDIE

It means that I can't take my shirt off in front of all these people.

RICHIE

So you'd take it off if it were just the two of us?

(To camera)

Shit, I'm flirting.

EDDIE

No...!

RICHIE

The bathroom stalls here are pretty large, we could --

And Eddie is actually laughing.

EDDIE

'Not gonna happen, dude.

RICHIE

We could bring a third party along. To keep things neutral.

Eddie frowns visibly at that, he blinks a few times, but his face seems to relax, and he shrugs at Richie:

EDDIE

Okay, sure.

Richie has a spark of hope in his eyes.

RICHIE

For real?

EDDIE

No. Of course not.

They chuckle at each other.

Until Eddie offers him his hand to help him up.

EDDIE

(Softly)

Come on. Let’s get out of here, jackass.

And Richie stares at it for a mild second, his look moving quickly to the camera. He is desperate.

He takes the hand slowly and thoroughly, as if his life was being narrated by Jane Austen herself. And as he stands up, his eyes travel to the camera:

RICHIE

(To camera)

I'm screwed.

CUT TO:

EXT. A NEW YORK PARK - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS.

In an empty New Yorkian park, with relatively bad lighting, EDDIE and RICHIE sit on a bench together.

Eddie is holding a diet coke, and Richie is holding a juice box.

They’re engaged in a heated conversation:

RICHIE

... So, the world was made in seven days. And on the first day LIGHT came and then a few days later the SUN came?

EDDIE

Yeah, that's ridiculous.

RICHIE

But you believe that?

Eddie deliberates, he opens his mouth to speak, and then he gives up. And he opens his mouth again.

EDDIE

Uh, I think it’s like... Poetry. It’s a moral code. It’s - it’s up for interpretation. I guess.

RICHIE

You sound EXACTLY like someone who’s studied this shit for 7 years.

Eddie turns to him, outraged.

EDDIE

Is that sarcasm? You're using sarcasm on me?

Richie nods, and in a shrug, he drinks his juice.

RICHIE

Do you think I should become a catholic?

EDDIE

No, don’t do that! I like that you believe in a meaningless existence. Besides, you don’t wanna have that strange look of shame and repression in your eyes all the time.

(Pause)

Especially during sex.

Richie widens his eyes at the camera.

RICHIE

(To camera)

That's exactly what I need.

Eddie looks around to follow Richie’s look at the camera, but in a subtle way, so Richie doesn't really notice.

RICHIE

(To Eddie)

You'd be a TERRIBLE priest.

EDDIE

No! It’s just that, I think that... When Catholicism is forced upon you at birth, you just have a moral obligation to advise people not to sign up voluntarily for it.

Richie is watching him with wide eyes of amusement. When Eddie finishes talking, Richie bursts in laughter.

RICHIE

Now you sound like an anti-priest.

(Pause, he widens his eyes)

Like an anti-Christ! Shit, are you the anti-Christ? Satan must be PISSED at you for giving up on priesthood.

EDDIE

Fuck you, dude. Fuck you.

There is a rustle in a bush. Eddie is instantly terrified.

EDDIE

What was that? It wasn’t a fox, was it?

RICHIE

What? We’re literally in the middle of New York City, Eds.

Eddie stands up quickly, he is terrified.

EDDIE

That's not my name and...

(Pause)

Is it a fox?

There's another noise.

EDDIE

Fuck, oh shit! I bet it's a fox.

And Richie is actually belly-laughing at him.

EDDIE

It's not funny! Don’t laugh! Foxes have been after me FOREVER! It’s like they have a pact or something. I’m not kidding, I was PEEING at the side of a road once. And when I looked up, a fucking FOX was right behind a bush STARING at me. Down there.

RICHIE

(Laughing his ass off)

At your dick?

EDDIE

I'm not kidding! They're perverts! Once when I was at seminary, I woke up just feeling a bit weird like there might be a fox around, and A FOX, an actual FOX, was sitting under my window just looking up like this —-

And he makes a lost-puppy face at Richie.

EDDIE

And - and pointing at me like – you. We’re watching you. We’re always watching you.

RICHIE

Even when you have a morning wood?

Eddie looks at him, outraged.

EDDIE

Seriously, dude, go fuck yourself.

And he tentatively sits back down. There's a moment of silence.

RICHIE

Are you okay?

EDDIE

Sure.

(Pause)

Do you think I'm crazy?

RICHIE

I think you’re the anti-Christ. It makes all the sense, the foxes are Satan's way of getting back to you for not making it to Pope.

Eddie laughs.

EDDIE

You're such an obsessed asshole.

(Pause)

You know that there's more to me than my past in the Catholic church, right?

RICHIE

Such as...?

Eddie looks thoughtful. He really doesn’t know how to answer.

EDDIE

Uh... I work at Wall Street, I... I have a nice marriage, I... I... Finished paying for my condo last month and...

Richie acts as if he’s fallen asleep.

RICHIE

Boring...!

And Eddie just looks at him with an exasperated look of outrage.

EDDIE

You're an asshole.

There's a beat of silence in which they both sip at their drinks.

RICHIE

You know what, Eds? I think you’d make it to pope in a heartbeat. Because you're short and you have this dramatic frown —-

And he furrows his eyebrows, trying to imitate Eddie.

EDDIE

First of all, fuck you, I’m fucking average height. And second of all, I don't think that's how it works. I'm sorry to break it to you.

RICHIE

(Dramatically, with a hand on his chest)

Oh my god, Spaghetti. I’m devastated.

Eddie is in the middle of a sip of his coke, and he seems really upset out of the sudden.

EDDIE

‘Not my name.

Richie chuckles, he drinks his juice.

RICHIE

Look, I've been forcing this subject because... Uh... Because the other day you were telling me about this whole priest thing and ——-

He pauses. There’s a hustle in the dark. Eddie jumps from his seat.

EDDIE

(Screams)

It's a fucking FOX!

RICHIE

Chill the fuck out about the fox!

Eddie adjusts himself in his seat. He clears his throat.

EDDIE

Sorry. I just… I don’t know what they want from me.

(pause)

I’m sorry. The priest thing. Go.

RICHIE

Okay. You were telling me about this whole priest thing and you said that the idea of celibacy didn't bother you.

EDDIE

That's right.

RICHIE

Like... You were so fucking chill about it.

Eddie is still looking around, alarmed that the fox might show up at any minute.

EDDIE

Yeah...

RICHIE

But how...?

(Pause)

I mean, I just don’t think I could do it. I just couldn’t give up on sex forever. It’s just too, it’s too—

He doesn’t know how to finish his sentence, so he just looks ahead at the dark.

EDDIE

Celibacy is a lot less complicated than romantic relationships.

(Pause)

The idea of marriage before my wedding day gave me way more headaches than the idea of celibacy before my Holy Order day.

RICHIE

And yet you didn't run away from your wedding.

Eddie actually chuckles at that, and he says in a jokingly, and yet sad, tone:

EDDIE

I couldn't let my mom down for a second time.

RICHIE

So that's why you didn’t run away?

EDDIE

That's not what I said. I was kidding. It was supposed to be a joke.

Richie frowns at him, and then at the camera.

EDDIE

... Look, celibacy is like a pact with a God you’ll never see. It's a spiritual thing, something you'll have to deal with on your own.

(Pause)

And romantic relationships are complicated, you have to care for someone, for their needs, all the fucking time. And, at least idealistically, marriage is a forever thing you’ll have with somebody else. So, way more complicated.

RICHIE

A forever thing?

EDDIE

For the catholic church, yes.

RICHIE

But what if you meet someone you like? Who isn’t your wife, I mean.

Eddie seems to think a lot about his answer to that, he takes a deep breath, he deliberates.

EDDIE

I talk to them, I insult them, I call them bad names, I... I buy them apple juice...

Richie, not so subtly, looks down at his juice box: it’s apple juice.

EDDIE

... And hope they eventually leave me alone.

RICHIE

You —- you don't sound like you’ve changed much since kindergarten.

Eddie laughs at that, he doesn't want to but he belly-laughs at that. Until he eventually stops, and Richie is looking at him.

RICHIE

And what if you meet someone else —-

(To camera)

I can't believe I'm doing this.

(Back to Eddie)

You lo—- someone else you're really really into? Like, more than your wife?

Eddie doesn't know what to answer right away. The two of them hold eye contact for a mild second.

EDDIE

We're not going to have sex.

Richie glances at the camera, surprised.

EDDIE

... I know you think that's what you want from me...

RICHIE

Look, Eds, that's not what I—-

But Eddie keeps going.

EDDIE

But it’s not. It won’t bring anything good. I'm not —- I'm not like that.

And Richie frowns at him.

RICHIE

Like what, gay?

EDDIE

Like a cheater

And they lock eyes, both of them really serious. There's a spark between them.

EDDIE

I’d really like to be your friend though.

RICHIE

Yeah, yeah, sure. Me too. Bros, right?

(Pause)

Literally.

Eddie hides his face in his hands.

RICHIE

'Till our parents' divorce do us apart...!

From behind his hands, we can’t tell if Eddie is really angry, or if he’s angrily trying not to laugh.

EDDIE

Oh my god, you're a fucking idiot.

And the two of them break down laughing, kind of nervously, kind of in relief. In the middle of the laughs, Richie finally looks directly into the camera:

RICHIE

(To camera)

The celibacy plan is over. We will last a week.

Eddie stops laughing to frown at him.

EDDIE

What was that?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

Where did… Where did you just go?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

You just went somewhere, dipshit. I saw it!

Richie looks at the camera in panic.

EDDIE

There! There! Where did you go, jackass?

RICHIE

Nowhere, Spaghetti. You're going nuts.

(To camera)

And it’s kinda hot.

Eddie looks at him, uncertain.

EDDIE

Okay... That's not my name, though.

Richie shrugs at him. There's a pause. Eddie turns away and Richie looks at the camera - ‘So, what now?’

And suddenly there’s a rustle in the bushes again – they both turn and jump in fear: it's a fox.

And the scene...

FADE OUT.

Chapter Text

INT. MEN'S WEAR SHOP - DAY.

Richie is sitting at a sofa in an impressively large men's wear shop - tuxedos, suits, etc. Eddie is in the dressing room.

EDDIE (O.S.)

I don't know, dude...

RICHIE

Come on, Spaghetti. Just come out!

Pause. Richie turns to the camera with a smug, joking face. He points at the dressing room:

RICHIE

(To camera)

That’s not a closet.

Eddie pulls the curtain and steps out wearing an extremely fancy wedding suit and bow tie.

Richie stares at him, gaping and blinking fast. He lets out a gasp.

EDDIE

So, what do you think?

RICHIE

Uh...

Richie gasps again.

RICHIE

That... Uh... That looks like something the groom would wear.

EDDIE

So it's too much?

Richie can't take his eyes off of Eddie, he is blinking and staring.

RICHIE

Yeah, I think the last one was...

Long pause.

EDDIE

... Better?

Richie just nods.

EDDIE

Yeah, me too.

Eddie looks oblivious of Richie's situation. At this point, Eddie is admiring himself in the mirror, checking the sleeves. And Richie just looks like someone who's just hit puberty.

EDDIE

The other one is way more subtle.

RICHIE

... Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah... It's more elegant...?

EDDIE

Yeah, sure.

He turns around and goes back in the dressing stall.

EDDIE (O.S.)

Can you ask someone in the staff for a suit just like that in your size?

Richie seems to be wakened up from a daydream.

RICHIE

What? Why?

EDDIE (O.S.)

What do you mean why?

RICHIE

It’s bold of you to assume I could afford a... a... A handkerchief from this place. Let alone a whole suit!

Eddie's head pops from the dressing room, he is holding the curtain so only his face can be seen.

EDDIE

(angrily, with a visible frown)

Then what have we been doing here for 45 minutes?

Richie gasps again.

RICHIE

... We are buying you a suit for the wedding...?

Long pause, Eddie stares at Richie in disbelief.

EDDIE

(exasperated)

Groomsmen are supposed to wear the same thing, IDIOT!

Richie looks utterly surprised, he shrugs. Eddie rolls his eyes and retracts back to the dressing room.

Richie turns to the camera, giving it a fleeting, coy look.

The screen goes back and the tittle pops up: TRASHBAG.

EXT. NOISY NEW YORK STREET. DAY.

Richie and Eddie are walking down the road, they’ve just come from the shop.

Eddie is raving about wedding suits. Richie is listening to him, enjoying it. Richie only talks to camera when he is sure Eddie can’t see.

EDDIE

There‘s this place midtown we could go later, they have some reasonable prices...

RICHIE

Sure...

As he says that, he looks at the camera gesticulating to Eddie’s arm, behind his back.

RICHIE

(to camera)

His arms!

EDDIE

Or we could just go back so I can buy you the suit.

RICHIE

Not a chance, Eds.

EDDIE

You‘d pay me back later, idiot!

Richie, again, is gesticulating to Eddie’s arm behind his back.

RICHIE

(to camera)

His arms!

(to Eddie)

No way I’m letting you loan-shark me!

Eddie let‘s out a laugh at that.

EDDIE

Yeah, you caught me.

Pause. They keep walking side by side.

EDDIE

Do you prefer weddings or funerals?

RICHIE

If it’s a person I love, I prefer weddings. If it's just someone I know, I prefer funerals.

EDDIE

I think there’s something... Funny about funerals.

RICHIE

Yeah?

Richie can’t help looking at Eddie’s arms. He is very distracted.

EDDIE

Yeah. It’s like everyone‘s so sad but the person is probably drinking guacamole in heaven.

RICHIE

Or perishing in hell for the first hours of eternity...

Eddie nods.

RICHIE

Wait a minute, you really believe in this shit?

EDDIE

What do you believe? Worm food?

Richie nods.

EDDIE

Why?

RICHIE

Why what?

Richie nods towards the back of Eddie’s neck.

RICHIE

(to camera)

His neck!

EDDIE

Why would you believe in something terrible, when you can believe in something... Wonderful?

Richie actually laughs at that.

RICHIE

Don’t make me an optimist, Spaghetti, you’ll ruin my life.

They both laugh, Eddie says:

EDDIE

(still laughing)

That is not my name.

Richie shrugs, still laughing.

EDDIE

Have you been to many funerals?

INT. COUNTRY HOUSE. RICHIE’S MOM’S FUNERAL - FLASHBACK - DAY.

A quick flash of RICHIE and TOM in black, standing at the entrance to their father’s country house - greeting MOURNERS.

EXT. NOISY NEW YORK STREET - CONTINUOUS - DAY.

We’re back with Richie and Eddie walking on the streets.

RICHIE

Yeah... My family is full of old people.

Again, staring at the back of Eddie‘s neck:

RICHIE

(to camera)

His neck!

(to Eddie)

There‘s a lot of cancer too.

EDDIE

And you never felt them… Go somewhere?

RICHIE

(accidentally to camera)

No, they were already gone.

(accidentally to Eddie)

His beautiful neck!

Eddie stops walking out of the sudden and when Richie notices that, he is already a few steps ahead. He looks back at Eddie, with a questioning look. Eddie’s face is blank.

EDDIE

What?

Richie gives the camera a panicked look.

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

You just said ‘his beautiful neck’.

Richie is panicking. He tries to cover for himself.

RICHIE

Did I?

EDDIE

Yeah!

RICHIE

No... No, I said ‘they were already gone’.

Eddie let’s out a muffled laugh.

EDDIE

You‘re fucking weird.

Richie just shrugs at him. They continue walking. Eddie stops suddenly outside an old ornate building.

EDDIE

Okay, right, so— this might be...

Eddie touches Richie’s arm to guide him in the building. Richie notices, and sends the camera a look.

EDDIE

—- Anyone‘s idea of hell. So, before you blame me for ruining your life, you’re the one who insisted on coming.

RICHIE

You could ruin my life all you want, Eds, and I‘d still say thank you.

Eddie just rolls his eyes at him. He turns and heads in. As he does—

RICHIE

(sighs to camera)

His beautiful neck!

HARD CUT TO:

INT. A BIG HALL - CONTINUOUS - DAY.

There‘s silence.

There is a circle of chairs with a table in the middle. Not all chairs are occupied.

Eddie sits on a chair. Richie sits across the other side.

It‘s very quiet at first. Until a MAN stands up and screams.

When the man sits back down and the silence is restored, Richie looks at the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

Anger management meeting. You’re not allowed to speak unless you have something you’re very, very angry about that you can’t say to just anyone, but you might explode if you don‘t let it out of you. You don‘t have to use all the words, though, sometimes screams or curse words work just fine.

(pause)

It’s very intense: it’s very loud and then it’s very quiet and it’s very, very erotic.

Richie looks over at Eddie. They lock eyes. A WOMAN in the circle stands up. Both of them avert their eyes from each other to look at her.

WOMAN

(practically yelling)

SOMETIMES. ALL THE TIME. EVERY SINGLE DAY WHEN I WAKE UP AND WHEN I GO TO SLEEP. AND THE HOURS IN BETWEEN.

Silence.

WOMAN

I WISH I COULD GO BACK TO MY EX HUSBAND JUST SO I‘D HAVE SOMEONE TO DO HOUSE-CHORES FOR ME.

Silence. The WOMAN sits back down. Richie looks to camera – fair enough. More silence. Richie glances over at Eddie. He‘s deep in thought staring down at his hands.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Is that him being angry?

He looks back at Eddie.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I wonder if he looks angry when he’s calm and looks calm when he’s angry.

He looks at Eddie once again.

RICHIE

(to camera)

What‘s he thinking?

Eddie is still lost in thought. Richie looks back at the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I don‘t think... This is working for me... I don’t really feel any of my anger being managed...

He slowly begins lurching forward.

RICHIE

(to camera, surprised at himself)

... Fuck!

He begins slowly to stand, involuntarily. He’s more surprised than anyone.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Oh fuck, oh fuck, what am I gonna say, what am I gonna say...?

(to the room)

I sometimes worry —

(pause)

—- That I wouldn’t be really bisexual if women were more attracted to me —-

(pause)

—- and if pegging was more normalized in our society.

He looks around. There’s silence except for a small cough.

Eddie stifles a laugh.

EXT. NOISY NEW YORK STREET. DAY.

Eddie and Richie walk slowly out of the building. They’re engaged in a heated conversation.

EDDIE

But there‘s so much to be angry at in this world!

RICHIE

Such as...?

EDDIE

Climate change...? Uh. Wars...? The rise of fascism all over the world...? Big companies using your data to manipulate you into buying stuff and into voting for certain people... And—-

RICHIE

Dude! You’re just saying that because you’ve never been pegged!

Eddie frowns visibly at him.

EDDIE

How can you be so sure that I've never been ——

(he clears his throat)

Never been ——— you know...?

Richie can’t help but laugh and Eddie seems to be utterly offended at that.

RICHIE

Okay, Eds, for starters, you can’t even say the word.

He can‘t help but laugh some more at the cute angry face Eddie is making at him.

RICHIE

Also, I just know! It’s all over your face and your posture and...

He gets distracted by the way Eddie is staring at him.

RICHIE

... You know.

EDDIE

(frustrated)

No, I don’t know.

Richie can‘t stop laughing.

EDDIE

You know what? Fuck you, man. Fuck you!

RICHIE

(still laughing)

I‘m sorry! I didn’t mean to offend you.

But Eddie just looks at him with a killing-look. In response, Richie smiles goofily at him, in an apologetic gesture. They keep walking in silence.

RICHIE

What were you thinking?

Eddie just looks at him, as if he doesn’t get the question.

RICHIE

Back there, you were... Very quiet, staring at your hands. What were you thinking then?

EDDIE

Well, I was trying to think about the things that make me angry, and trying to stay... you know, peaceful with them. So I wouldn’t explode when I let them out. But then, for some reason, I was thinking about you and... And...

RICHIE

(with a smile)

You can say the word...!

EDDIE

... Uh... Pegging which kind of ruined it.

Richie starts laughing hysterically.

RICHIE

Aw...! Sex thoughts about me ruined your anger!

EDDIE

Yeah, dipshit, you could say that.

They laugh briefly. Long pause.

The chemistry between them builds.

It’s too much.

RICHIE

(Awkwardly)

I should probably...

EDDIE

(simultaneously)

Maybe we should...

They stare at each other.

RICHIE/EDDIE

(at the same time)

You go / you go.

They stare at each other some more.

EDDIE

Come on, you go first.

RICHIE

Okay, uh. I should probably head to the bar.

EDDIE

In the morning?

RICHIE

Yeah... My parrot is there. I should go feed her or she’ll die. The other birds too. They need to eat.

EDDIE

A PARROT? Oh my god. I don’t think I saw a parrot when I was there.

RICHIE

She... Wasn’t there then.

EDDIE

Can I see her?

RICHIE

Oh... It’s just that...

EDDIE

What?

Pause. Richie looks like he is having the biggest dilemma of his life until he visibly gives in.

RICHIE

Okay. You can come. But she is like the devil. You’re gonna hate her.

EDDIE

I‘m gonna love her.

They lock eyes, and for a brief second, they smile at each other.

EDDIE

Actually, before we go there, can we... Pop by that shop we were at earlier?

RICHIE

WHY?

HARD CUT TO:

EXT. RICHIE’S BAR. THE BACKYARD - LATER.

Eddie and Richie sit at a table of Richie’s bar. Next to Richie’s there‘s a big bag from the Men’s Wear shop, and next to Eddie there’s a bag just like Richie’s.

Hillary the Parrot is on Eddie’s shoulder, he is amazed by her. He is holding up his finger so she can bite at it. And she does - softly.

EDDIE

HOLY FUCK.

He is instantly in love with her. She is making happy little squeaking noises.

Richie watches them with big heart eyes. And then, he discreetly holds the bag at the camera, while Eddie is distracted by the parrot.

RICHIE

(to camera)

He fucking bought me the suit.

EDDIE

(to Hillary)

You adorable little thing!

Hillary lets go of his finger to speak:

HILLARY

Fuck you... Fuck you...

And she keeps going. Eddie is astonished.

EDDIE

(to Richie)

Is she always like that?

RICHIE

Yeah...

EDDIE

I love her.

Richie looks at him with bigger heart eyes, and then looks at the camera - ‘I’m screwed‘.

There’s comfortable silence between the two of them. Hillary shuts up to bite at Eddie‘s index finger.

He watches him holding her – he turns to camera and bites his lip. It’s too much.

Until Richie can’t bear the sight of them anymore and he decides to break the silence:

RICHIE

I still can’t believe you bought me the suit.

EDDIE

It‘s not a gift, dude. I’m not Mother Teresa, you’re paying me back.

RICHIE

But, Eds! That would ruin this whole sugar-brother thing we've got going on.

EDDIE

Sugar-brother thing?

RICHIE

What? You’d prefer daddy? I considered it, but then I thought it might be too much.

EDDIE

I prefer none of the above, thank you very much. You’re paying me back!

Richie pouts at him.

RICHIE

I knew you’d loan-shark your way into my life.

And then, for Richie’s amazement, Eddie is laughing.

EDDIE

Busted! Yeah. I’m so sorry. Mission accomplished, though.

Richie starts laughing along. There’s another pause of comfortable silence.

EDDIE

Can I ask, why so many birds?

RICHIE

It‘s bird-themed.

EDDIE

Okay, but why birds and not... Guinea Pigs or hamsters or something?

RICHIE

Oh I um, I just um—

INT. THE BAR - FLASHBACK - DAY.

STAN is putting up a picture of a beautiful, colourful wild bird on the wall.

STAN

This is the best picture I’ve ever taken.

EXT. RICHIE’S BAR. THE BACKYARD - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie and Eddie at the Bar‘s backyard. Richie continues:

RICHIE

— I just thought it would be a unique selling point.

EDDIE

Yeah? Which came first, the birds or the bird-themed bar?

Richie laughs at that, amazed.

RICHIE

That is a... Big old question. If I told you I’d have to kill you.

Eddie chuckles, but then the shakes his head playfully.

EDDIE

Yeah... We can‘t have me dying.

RICHIE

(with a serious face)

That would ruin the wedding.

They lock eyes for a mild second, but then they start laughing.

Until they fall into a short silence and Eddie turns his attention back to Hillary.

EDDIE

Speaking of the wedding, how’s your dad feeling about the second bachelor party of his life being tomorrow?

Richie widens his eyes at Eddie.

RICHIE

It‘s TOMORROW?

EDDIE

Of course it’s tomorrow, idiot.

Richie just stares at him.

EDDIE

Tell me you didn’t forget to hire the strippers.

Richie gapes at him, he lets out a gasp.

EDDIE

Richie, you had ONE job. JESUS!

Richie gasps again.

RICHIE

I get it, alright? I had one job.

(pause)

But I’m not useless okay?

EDDIE

Do tell me, how are you NOT useless?

RICHIE

It‘s that I’ve been...

INT. RICHIE’S FLAT. LIVING ROOM - FLASHBACK - DAY.

Richie’s living room is really messy and dirty. There are pizza boxes everywhere, even some old pizza slices hanging around, soda cans all over the floor, underwear hanging on the TV, ketchup all over the couch, clothes on the floor. - It’s a mess.

Richie is walking around in his underwear, with a broom in hands. He is obviously trying to clean the apartment but he acts as if the concept of tiding up is completely foreign to him.

End of flashback.

EXT. RICHIE’S BAR. THE BACKYARD - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie, Eddie and Hillary at the bar’s backyard.

RICHIE

- Busy, lately.

EDDIE

Busy?

RICHIE

Yeah. My friend, my... Roommate is coming home today. And this whole... Getting sober thing kind up led me to turning my apartment into a trashcan. So I had to clean up... You know, to welcome him back. And that took me fucking days.

Eddie nods. His attention is fully on Hillary, as if he doesn’t want to meet Richie’s eyes.

EDDIE

Roommate?

RICHIE

Yeah... I’m picking him up later.

EDDIE

At the airport?

Richie looks suddenly uncomfortable.

RICHIE

No.

EDDIE

At the bus station?

RICHIE

No.

Silence. Hillary squeaking away.

EDDIE / RICHIE

(Simultaneously)

So do you guys / so you...

Richie gestures for him to talk first.

EDDIE

Do you guys live together for long?

RICHIE

Yeah...

Eddie nods. There‘s more silence between then. Richie dares to look at the camera - he is uncomfortable.

EDDIE

So, do you run this place on your own?

RICHIE

No. I run it with a friend... That friend, the roommate.

Eddie nods.

EDDIE

You guys sound married.

And Richie actually smiles at that.

RICHIE

We do.

(pause)

We aren’t, though. Married.

Eddie nods once again.

EDDIE

I see...

(pause)

He must be a piece of work, to put up with your bullshit on a daily basis.

RICHIE

(smiling)

Yeah... He really is.

Hillary is screaming more nonsense and curse words, Eddie turns his attention back to her. And Richie turns back to admiring them sweetly. He turns to the camera - 'look at them.'

Until his cellphone lightens up on the table. He looks at the notification box and his smile drops at once.

He’s received a text from Patty - ‘hey, Rich. I heard your voicemail. We could meet.’ And then another text pops up: ‘maybe today at lunch? At that place near your bar we used to go with Stan?’

He swallows loudly. And then he writes his reply: ‘Sure! :)’. And then he locks his screen and shoves his phone in his pocket.

He glances at the camera as if he’s trying not to panic.

Until Eddie turns back to him, smiling. Richie doesn’t smile back nor meet his eyes.

EDDIE

Is he coming to the party tomorrow?

RICHIE

(he swallows)

... I don’t know.

EDDIE

What‘s he like?

RICHIE

He... He...

EXT. RICHIE’S BAR. THE BACKYARD - FLASHBACK - DAY - YEARS BEFORE.

Stan is standing near one of the Birds' cages. Feeding the bird.

EXT. RICHIE’S BAR. THE BACKYARD - DAY - CONTINUOUS.

Back to the present, with Richie. He looks at the camera.

EXT. RICHIE’S BAR. THE BACKYARD - FLASHBACK - DAY - YEARS BEFORE.

Stan is standing next to one of the cages. Richie can be seen standing in the background.

Stan opens the cage and takes the bird into his hands.

STAN

This one is good to go.

He let's go of the bird and it flies right into Richie's face and then falls flat to the floor. They both look down at it.

The bird doesn't even move.

RICHIE

... I think it's dead.

EXT. RICHIE’S BAR. THE BACKYARD - DAY - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie in the present. He breaks his look to the camera.

EDDIE

What?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

He... He, what?

RICHIE

He...

He laughs nervously at Eddie and then he turns to the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

He's kind of annoying, actually.

Eddie notices his turn to the camera. He looks where Richie was looking, right into the camera.

EDDIE

What is that?

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

That thing --- that you do all the time... It's like you... It's like you disappear.

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

I'm not blind, dude.

RICHIE

I'm not saying you are!

EDDIE

Then why don't you tell me?

RICHIE

Because I have nothing to tell!

EDDIE

Come on, Richie, you can tell me!

RICHIE

No!

(to camera)

What the fuck is wrong with this guy?

Eddie immediately looks where Richie is looking, right down the barrel of the camera.

EDDIE

See...? You just did it!

RICHIE

Stop being so fucking nosy!

EDDIE

I'm not being nosy! I'm just...

RICHIE

What? Tell me, Spaghetti, you're trying to be a big brother? We're the same fucking age, dude!

EDDIE

No! I'm just trying to get to know you, idiot.

RICHIE

Well, thank you. But I don't want that!

There's a long, tense silence between them.

EDDIE

Look, dude, sorry, okay? I just wanted to help you.

Richie stares at him in disbelief.

RICHIE

What?

EDDIE

(backpedaling)

No, no, I didn't mean --- I meant --- Look, we're family, right? We --

Richie interrupts him, with a low, calm voice:

RICHIE

I appreciate your enthusiasm, Eds, but we're NOT family. We're never going to be family. You're just some dude who happens to be my stepmother's son and ---

EDDIE

Come one, man. I didn't mean, I didn't mean that ---

RICHIE

--- And I already have a LOT of people trying to "help me out". Because I’m SO fucked up. So I'm good. Thank you, though. You're the sweetest.

Eddie is gaping at him, he doesn't know what to say.

RICHIE

I really... I really think you should go now. I'm going to have lunch with a friend, so... And you should probably be getting back to work and to God and to your wife and to whatever.

Eddie looks at him. Still lost for words.

RICHIE

And I think my parrot is sick of you.

He stands up to walk over to Eddie's shoulder, where Hillary is. He offers her his index finger, and she kind of jumps - kind of walks there.

RICHIE

... She's a little bitch, she hates strangers.

Richie walks to the back of the backyard with Hillary. And he puts her back into her massive cage. As he closes it, she starts screaming ‘fuck you, Trashmouth‘ non-stop.

EDDIE

Uh... Okay.

He stands and he looks at Richie.

EDDIE

I'll see you tomorrow.

But Richie's back is turned to him.

EDDIE

Okay, uh, bye, Rich.

And he leaves.

HARD CUT TO:

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - DAY.

Richie walks sadly down the busy street. Smoking.

He turns at a corner trying to avoid the camera’s eye.

EXT. COUNTRY HOUSE. FUNERAL DAY - FLASHBACK - DAY.

It’s the day of Richie’s mom’s funeral. Richie and Stan stand in silence right outside the house, both of them wearing long black coats and black clothes underneath them.

There are big glass windows behind them, where the big hall in which the actual funeral is happening can be seen - the mourners, the coffin, everything.

Richie is smoking, Stan isn‘t. After a few seconds of silence, both of them looking ahead, Richie holds his cigarette up towards Stan, offering him a drag.

Stan doesn’t say a thing, he rolls his eyes but, for Richie’s surprise, he takes the cigarette. And then, without breaking eye contact with Richie, he crushes the ending of it on a concrete pillar right next to him - putting the cigarette out.

Richie looks dramatically devastated.

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present, Richie is still walking with his cigarette. The camera follows him, he still is avoiding it. He looks over his shoulder only to see that the camera is there.

INT. COUNTRY HOUSE. FUNERAL DAY - FLASHBACK - DAY.

We had a glimpse of this earlier, before the Anger Management Meeting. Richie and Tom stand, dressed in black, greeting mourners. Only now, Stan and Beverly can be seen in the background.

FAMILY FRIEND 1

At least now her pain is finally over.

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - CONTINUOUS.

Back with Richie in the present, he is still smoking and avoiding the camera. He is walking in a hurry, he looks over his shoulder again as the camera pursues him.

He begins to run away.

INT. COUNTRY HOUSE. DAD’S BEDROOM. FUNERAL DAY - FLASHBACK - DAY.

Richie’s dad is laying on the bed. His dad’s folded on his torso. Tears drop and fall next to/in his ears.

Richie is standing on the doorframe - he is wearing sunglasses now, but we can see that his face is red from crying. He walks to the side of the bed, considers for a mild second and then he lays next to his dad.

A few seconds pass, and his dad stands up and leaves the room without a word.

INT. A RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS.

Back to the present, Richie walks into a restaurant. Alone.

The camera is waiting for him there. He is instantly disappointed to find that the camera is there.

He closes the door behind him and he sees that there’s a mirror next to it. He glances at himself.

INT. COUNTRY HOUSE. FUNERAL DAY - FLASHBACK - DAY.

Close up of Stan’s face looking at the camera. Richie’s POV.

We see nothing of the background. Stan looks concerned.

STAN

Don’t worry, we’ll make you ugly.

INT. A RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present. Richie turns fully to the mirror and starts fixing his hair.

INT. COUNTRY HOUSE. A BEDROOM. FUNERAL DAY - FLASHBACK - DAY.

In a bedroom of Richie’s dad’s country house on the day of the funeral, Richie looks at himself in the mirror.

But instead of fixing his hair, he is messing it. He doesn’t look as if he’s been crying yet.

He rubs his face really hard. The camera opens to reveal Stan, who’s standing next to him.

STAN

Don‘t do that to your face! Your nose is gonna fall off.

RICHIE

I fucking have to! I don’t know what to do! I look so fucking good.

STAN

We can make you ugly, it’s okay. Just take this foundation off.

RICHIE

FOUNDATION? I’m not wearing foundation! I don’t ever wear foundation!

Stan looks utterly surprised.

STAN

Fuck! What the hell? I’ve never seen you like this.

RICHIE

I don’t know. I just woke up looking THIS good, I didn't even shave! My face just woke up THIS clean from yesterday’s shaving! And now everyone’s going to think I put make up on for my mother’s funeral...!

Richie is almost teary. Beverly enters the room. She stops when she looks at Richie.

BEVERLY

What the hell? You look amazing!

Richie hides his face behind his hands. And Stan nods sadly at Beverly.

STAN

We’re trying to make him ugly.

Richie looks at both of them, matter-of-factly.

RICHIE

I don’t know, no matter what I do with my hair, the curls just end up perfectly combed as if I was some kind of mysterious French actor.

He messes up his hair, very aggressively to demonstrate, and then he points up at it.

Stan and Beverly stare at him, with wide eyes.

STAN

Holy shit.

BEVERLY

How is this possible?

Tom enters the bedroom but stays by the door.

TOM

Oh, there you guys are. People are starting to arrive, we should go downstairs.

Beverly smiles sweetly at him.

RICHIE

Thanks, you go, I’ll be there in a few minutes.

TOM

No way I’m going there alon—

(he pauses, he gives a good look at his brother)

Holy shit, why are you ——-

RICHIE

(whining)

I know! I look fucking hot.

Everyone in the room nods. Richie looks at his brother - bags under his eyes, as if maybe he was crying, he looks terrible.

RICHIE

(to Tom)

You look perfect.

TOM

Thanks.

All four of them head out of the room.

INT. A RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present, Richie is still looking at himself in the mirror. And then he backs away, he takes his coat off and hangs it. He heads to the short corridor that leads to the tables.

INT. RICHIE’S DAD COUNTRY HOUSE. FRONT HALL - FLASHBACK - DAY.

Richie and Tom are greeting mourners.

People are filing in.

Stan and Beverly both stand on the background handing the guests the Order of Service booklets.

FAMILY FRIEND 1

At least she‘s not suffering anymore, dear.

TOM

(shaking their hand)

Yes. Thank you.

The person walks away.

RICHIE

(whispers to his brother)

I wanna puke.

The next person approaches them:

FAMILY FRIEND 2

I’m so sorry, darling. When she was first diagnosed, we all thought she was going to make it.

The brothers nod at the person, shake their hand. Another person approaches:

FAMILY FRIEND 3

She was a strong woman, your mom. God only gives you what you can handle, afterall.

They shake the person’s hand.

RICHIE

(whispers to his brother)

Too bad mom could handle cancer.

His brother stares at him. They lock eyes. And Tom breaks down laughing, with tears in his eyes.

INT. A RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present, Richie stands at the door leading to the tables of the restaurant. He is looking for someone - for Patty.

Until he sees her, sitting at a table next to a big window. She is holding the menu to the waiter, pointing at something and talking to him.

Until she looks up and sees Richie standing there, she smiles at him.

He has a half-hearted smile on his face and he holds his palm up, in an awkward static ‘wave’.

INT. RICHIE’S DAD‘S COUNTRY HOUSE. HALL - FLASHBACK - DAY.

It’s the same flashback that was shown on EPISODE 3.

The broad hall is filled by people wearing black, some of them are crying, some are not.

The room is decorated with flowers, and in the middle of it there's a closed coffin. Richie is standing next to the coffin, an empty bottle of water in hands.

Richie throws up right next to his mom's coffin, and everyone in the room turns to him, no one even looks surprised.

INT. A RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present, Richie is sitting right across from Patty on the table.

He is looking down at the menu, she is looking directly at him. With her arms folded on the table.

PATTY

So, when is he coming home?

He doesn’t look up.

RICHIE

Today.

PATTY

(cheerful)

What? Really?

He still doesn’t look up.

RICHIE

Yeah! I’m driving there just after this.

PATTY

That‘s great! How is he?

He finally closes the menu and looks up at Patty.

RICHIE

He’s good. Healthy. Cheerful. Rosy cheeks. As Jewish as ever. Sassy as fuck.

Patty laughs as if she knows what he means.

PATTY

How about you, Richie?

RICHIE

What about me?

PATTY

How are you?

Richie blinks at her as if he wasn't expecting that question.

RICHIE

I... I...

INT. COUNTRY HOUSE. BATHROOM - FLASHBACK - AFTERNOON.

Part of this flashback was shown in EPISODE 1.

Richie and Stan are in a bathroom with both a tub and a shower, in a 1920s European-like architecture. They are sitting down on the counter-top where the sink lies.

The sink is between them. Richie looks like he is sobbing, and Stan is holding his hand from across the sink. Richie is in the middle of a sentence:

RICHIE

... I still don't know what to do with it.

Stan is staring at him, with a sympathetic, confused look. He still hasn't let go of his friend's hand.

STAN

... With what?

RICHIE

With all the... Love I have for her.

(pause)

I don't know where to put it now.

Stan takes a deep breath, he doesn’t know what to say. But then he makes his mind.

STAN

I’ll... I’ll take it.

Richie stares at him for a few seconds, then he starts laughing so hard that his tears of sorrow end up getting mixed up with tears of laughter.

STAN

... No, I’m serious! It sounds... Nice. It really does.

(Pause)

You can give it to me if you want.

He squeezes Richie’s hand. Richie is not laughing anymore. They lock eyes for a few seconds. Until Richie smiles, trying to break the ice.

RICHIE

That was so gay, dude.

Stan rolls his eyes, and then he laughs. Richie breaks his hand free from Stan's grip to poke him on the chest with his index, as he says playfully:

RICHIE

You saying that, while holding my hand... Are you going gay for me, Stanny?

Stan, again, rolls his eyes. Slaps Richie’s fingers with his hands.

STAN

You wish!

Richie smiles, Stan smiles. They fall into silence. Until Stan stands from the counter-top.

STAN

Come on, Trashmouth. Wash your face.

Richie stands from the counter-top too, he approaches the sink. But before he washes his face, he looks up at himself in the mirror.

RICHIE

At least I look funeral-appropriate now.

STAN

Yeah... You look like shit.

Richie chuckles at Stan through the mirror. He washes his face.

RICHIE

I look like shit and I’m fucking starving.

STAN

We should go out. Get something to eat.

Richie turns off the tap and turns to Stan - his back against the sink.

RICHIE

My mom will get buried in like an hour, Stanley. Do you think I‘m gonna miss that for food?? It‘s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Stan rolls his eyes.

STAN

She‘s not getting buried in the backyard!

RICHIE

(laughing)

Isn't she?

Once again, Stan rolls his eyes, making Richie laugh some more.

STAN

No! We go get food, and then we go straight to the cemetery. What do you think?

Richie nods, smiling. And heads to the door. Stan follows him, placing a hand on his back.

INT. A RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present, Richie is sitting right across from Patty in the restaurant. The scene continues from right before the flashback, Richie finishes his thought:

RICHIE

... I‘m good. I quit drinking. And... Yeah.

PATTY

You quit drinking? That‘s amazing!

Richie nods, smiling proud of himself. A waiter approaches the table, putting a plate of pasta right in front of Patty. She mumbles a ‘thank you‘ at him and he nods. He walks away.

Patty eats and they fall into silence. Richie looks like he wants to say something.

For the first time in the scene, Richie acknowledges that the camera is there - he‘s tired of avoiding it. He looks at the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

The dinosaur in the room is gonna eat us both.

He looks back at Patty. Her mouth is full.

RICHIE

So... Did you think about what I said in the voicemail?

Patty looks up at him. She can’t answer right away because her mouth is full. She looks almost grateful for it.

She gestures for him to wait, and he nods. A few seconds pass, Richie is tapping his foot on the floor, anxiously. She gestures again for him to wait, he nods. There’s more tension.

By the time she finally swallows, Richie sighs in relief.

PATTY

Look, Richie.

RICHIE

Yeah?

PATTY

I know how you feel.

Richie looks at the camera, confused.

RICHIE

You do?

PATTY

Yeah. When we... When I cheated on Stan, I felt really guilty. I’d never done anything like that before. I... The guilt was eating me alive. So, I thought I’d do the right thing. I‘d come up to him and say ‘We can’t be together anymore because I cheated on you’.

RICHIE

Oh.

PATTY

And I did just that. I was honest. I said the truth. I did the ”right thing”. And...

RICHIE

(to camera)

Please, don’t say that. Please, don’t say that.

PATTY

And you know what happened.

Richie swallows. His feet tapping bellow the table.

PATTY

You shouldn't make the same mistake as me.

Richie just stares at her.

HARD CUT TO:

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - MOMENTS LATER.

Richie is in his car, parked right across from his bar. The scene is filmed from the outside, the camera is from a safe distance and Richie doesn’t seem to acknowledge that the camera is there.

We can see Richie in the car. His hands are clutched on the steering wheel, so hard that his knuckles are white. He is breathing fast, staring at his knuckles.

Until he lets go from the wheel and starts punching it, screaming until his face is red. We can’t hear him because the windows are up.

He screams and he screams. Until he stops. As he does that, he looks up, only to see that the camera is there. He widens his eyes and tries to hide his face from it. He turns the car on in a hurry, and leaves with it.

INT. RICHIE‘S CAR - HOURS LATER - AFTERNOON.

Richie is right outside of the mental health retreat Stan’s at. He’s face is still red but he looks more calm now. He tries to breath slowly to calm himself down.

He looks up and sees Stan getting out. of the main door, with lots of baggage.

He opens his car door and gets out.

EXT. PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS.

Out of the car, Richie sees Stan from afar. Stan widens his eyes when sees that Richie is there.

Stan stops walking as he sees him. They look at each other. Richie’s smile couldn’t be bigger and more sincere. He walks to Stan and he hugs him. His bags fall to the floor. The hug lasts for a few seconds.

Until they back away, facing each other.

STAN

I didn't think you’d come.

RICHIE

Why? That’s ridiculous.

Stan just averts his eyes.

STAN

You disappeared for three weeks, Richie.

Richie is surprised at that information.

RICHIE

Fuck! Did I? I...

INT. RICHIE’S FLAT. LIVING ROOM - FLASHBACK - AFTERNOON.

Richie’s living room is really messy and dirty. There are pizza boxes everywhere, even some old pizza slices hanging around, soda cans all over the floor, underwear hanging on the TV, ketchup all over the couch, clothes on the floor. - It’s a mess.

Richie is sleeping on the couch. He is only wearing his boxers, there's a slice of pizza on his bare torso.

EXT. PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present with Stan and Richie.

RICHIE

I...

He is lost for words. Stan actively decides to change the subject.

STAN

... you smell weird.

Richie looks immediately grateful for his friend.

RICHIE

I bought a new soap. It’s French.

STAN

Exactly! You smell like soap!

RICHIE

Don’t I always?

STAN

No, normally you smell like soap and a trace of alcohol.

Richie just looks at him - amazed.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Yes. He’s always like that.

(to Stan)

I quit.

Stan widens his eyes in utter surprise and joy.

STAN

YOU QUIT DRINKING?

RICHIE

Yeah... That’s why I disappeared for 3 Sundays. The days kind of blend together when you’re getting sober.

STAN

Oh.

RICHIE

I could barely leave the house most of the days.

STAN

I‘m sorry, Richie.

RICHIE

(smiling)

Don’t be! I’m here and I’m sober, baby.

Stan rolls his eyes at the pet name, but he smiles.

STAN

Let‘s go home.

Richie nods, smiling. And he takes one o of the bags. Both of them walk to the car.

INT. CAR - MOMENTS LATER.

Richie and Stan are driving on the open road. In the car, the song “And Your Bird Can Sing“ by The Beatles plays. Richie is humming along to the song enthusiastically.

Richie looks sideways at Stan, in the passenger seat. Stan is eating chips.

He has a grumpy face on, but he looks peaceful and satisfied. Richie finds that adorable. He turns back to the road.

EXT. CEMETERY. FUNERAL DAY - FLASHBACK - AFTERNOON.

Richie’s mom’s coffin is being buried. Everyone’s watching it happening in silence.

Richie and Stan stand side by side. Both of them are eating hamburgers. People send judgemental looks on their way. Richie is humming the melody of the song “And Your Bird Can Sing“ by the Beatles.

By the time the coffin is fully in the ground, Richie stops humming. He looks at Stan for support and his friend offers him fries - Richie couldn't be more grateful.

INT. CAR - AFTERNOON - CONTINUOUS

Back in the present, the song is still playing in the car. Richie is smiling at the memory. Once again, he looks side-ways at his friend.

When Stan notices that Richie is staring, he frowns, but he offers him chips - and Richie couldn’t be more grateful.

INT. RICHIE’S APARTMENT - MOMENTS LATER - EVENING.

The camera faces the door of Richie’s apartment. And then, the door opens, revealing Richie, Stan and the bags.

The camera opens and we can see a huge sign of “Welcome home!”. Waiting for them, there’s Beverly, Bill, MIKE, and Hillary (the Parrot) on Bill's shoulder.

They cheer when Richie and Stan enter the apartment. Stan looks surprised, in his own shy way. He walks in the flat to hug his friends, but the camera stays with Richie, who's watching it all happening at the door frame.

In the scene, the people hug and talk, but we can't exactly hear what they're saying. Richie watches it all, bittersweetly. Mostly when Stan approaches Hillary and she starts screaming after 'Stan the man'.

Stan offers her his index finger, and she hops on it, still talking. He offers her his shoulder and she takes it. And then Stan turns to his friends, as-a-matter-of-factly:

STAN

Most domestic parrots can recognize their owners, they're very smart birds.

Richie almost smiles as he watches that happening, until he notices the camera on him. He feels the need to say something, to act as normal as he can. He stares at the camera, but he doesn't know what to say. So, he looks back at his friends, his eyes searching for Stan. Stan is hugging Mike - more like Mike is hugging Stan like a bear, while Stan stands still, trying to protect Hillary (who's still on his shoulder, screaming) and everyone around them laughs.

RICHIE

(to camera)

That's... That's Mike. He's been our neighbor for a few years. He's very sweet but... But he's a librarian, so he's very boring.

I think he's into Stan, and I'm just SURE that Stan has a thing for him too. Even though he's straight, but flexible... And I don't really believe in heterosexua---

Until he's interrupted by BILL calling him:

BILL

Richie...?

He averts his eyes from the camera to look at Bill, only to find all his friends staring at him, frowning. Revealing that Bill must have called him more than once.

RICHIE

Yeah?

Bill is still frowning.

BILL

I asked, do you want help with the bags?

Richie looks down at his feet, all of Stan's luggage is on the floor. He hurries to take all of them at once.

RICHIE

No, no, no. Thanks, Big Bill.

Everyone is still staring at him, so he can't quite take all of the bags without letting at least one of them fall to the floor. Until Beverly says:

BEVERLY

So, Stan, what do you want to do now that you're back?

And everyone's attention is on Beverly. Richie couldn't be more thankful for her. He finally manages to not let the bags fall.

STAN

Well, I want to go to the bar, see how the other birds are doing...

Stan keeps going on about how he misses the birds, while Richie is crossing the living room with the bags, towards the hallway where the bedrooms are. Beverly meets his eyes, sympathetically. They lock eyes and a silent, discreet, conversation happens between them:

Beverly's look asks: 'are you okay?'. And Richie answers with a nod. And he disappears into the hallway.

JUMP CUT TO:

INT. RICHIE’S FLAT. LIVING ROOM - LATER.

Later that night, Let's Dance by David Bowie plays in the living room. It's incredibly loud. The light is very low and there are open boxes of pizza on the counter that connects the kitchen to the living room, and lots of beer cans too.

Bill and Beverly are barefoot, dancing drunkenly to the music. They dance together, in a drunk, messy version of Pulp Fiction's iconic dance scene between John Travolta and Uma Thurman. As they dance, Mike is sitting on a chair, with a beer in hands, laughing his ass-off at Beverly and Bill's dance. Stan is behind the counter, on the kitchen's side, with a slice of pizza in hands and Hillary on his shoulder, he is laughing too, he mumbles:

STAN

(laughing)

That's not even the song they dance to in the movie!

But it can't really be heard because the music is REALLY loud. Richie can't be seen in the scene.

At some point, in the middle of a dance move, they both end up pointing at Mike at the same time and walking to him in the rhythm of the music, they pull him from the chair, and he playfully resists, but suddenly he is up, dancing too. Stan laughs through all that.

Until the camera opens, to the very back of the living room. Revealing Richie sitting at the end of the couch, in the darkest area of the room. He is looking down at his phone.

The camera gets closer to him - sideways, so we can see both Richie and his friends dancing in the background, even though they're a bit blurred now. In his phone, Richie is scrolling through a Google search: 'How to hire strippers for tomorrow NYC'.

Until Stan sits down next to him on the couch, with a glass of juice in hands. He looks up at him:

RICHIE

Hey, Stan the Man.

The music is very loud, like when you're in a club and you can't have a proper conversation. So, Stan says really loud, almost into his ear (and that's how their conversation continues from now on):

STAN

Why aren't you dancing with the others?

RICHIE

(really loud too)

I'm too sober to be fun!

Stan rolls his eyes.

STAN

You're always fun, trashmouth!

Richie smiles for Stan's sake, even though he's not convinced. Stan smiles back and hands him the glass of juice.

RICHIE

(he basically screams)

What's this?

STAN

(screams back)

Strawberry juice!

Richie frowns, but he takes the glass. And then he sends Stan a questioning look. Stan takes a deep breath and gets near Richie's ear.

STAN

I read once that when you're getting sober and you have to be somewhere full of people drinking alcohol, it's always good to have a glass with something non-alcoholic to hold!

Richie looks shocked at what he's just heard. His eyes widen dramatically, and he backs away from Stan, so he can get a good look at him.

STAN

(frowning)

What?

Richie can't stop smiling, he is now covering his mouth.

RICHIE

You're taking care of me!

Stan rolls his eyes.

RICHIE

You are! Don't you dare deny it!

STAN

I'm not denying it, trashmouth! I always take care of you. Since... Since the middle ages.

Richie frowns, letting out a big laugh.

RICHIE

Since the middle ages? Where did you get that from?

STAN

I don't know! This loud music is messing with my brain.

Richie seems to have gotten an epiphany.

RICHIE

Shit! Maybe we were friends then! In previous lives.

Stan rolls his eyes.

STAN

Yeah, Trashmouth, maybe we were.

Richie smiles, he takes a sip at his juice. He looks at his friends dancing, at this point they're dancing to Kiss by Prince (it's just started playing). Then, he turns to Stan, he screams into his ear:

RICHIE

Do Jewish people even believe in previous lives?

STAN

(he screams back)

Some do. I certainly don't.

Richie looks dramatically disappointed. He screams:

RICHIE

FUCK!

STAN

(screams)

Atheists don't either!

That hits Richie like a punch in the face.

RICHIE

That's a pity... At least we weren't killed by the plague!

Stan laughs, and then he plays along.

STAN

The Spanish Inquisition would SO get you!

RICHIE

Because I'm gay?

STAN

... And because you're really loud and annoying and LEFT HANDED!

Richie, once again, looks dramatically shocked.

RICHIE

FUCK! Previous lives suck!

As soon as he says that, both of them find themselves grounded by Beverly and Mike who are trying to get them up from the couch in the rhythm of the song, while Bill laughs in the background. They go along, and the 5 of them dance together to the Prince's song. Each time Prince says "I just want some extra time in your... kiss", Richie tries to kiss whoever is closest to him, and surprisingly that ends up being a dance move.

JUMP CUT TO:

INT. RICHIE’S FLAT. LIVING ROOM - THE NEXT MORNING.

Beverly, Bill and Mike sleep together on the couch. The three of them in sitting positions, with their feet resting on the coffee table right in front of the couch.

Stan is probably in his room, and Richie is standing by the counter that connects the kitchen and the living room, he is at the kitchen's side, he's holding his phone on his ear, and a coffee mug with the other hand.

RICHIE

(to camera)

The best thing about being sober...? Well, for sure, is the pleasure of being the only one who doesn't have a hangover the next morning.

Until the person he is calling picks up the call.

RICHIE

(into the phone)

Hello? Hello...? This is Richie Tozier. Have you got strippers available for tonight...? It's for a bachelor party... The groom is an old man, so literally any woman works... Why do you need my social security number...? Come on, I can't just give you that... Hello...? Ma'am?

He closes his eyes, and then he turns to the camera.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Not the first stripper company hanging up on me this morning.

Until, from the couch, Beverly screams:

BEVERLY

FUCK! Richie, just do the stripping yourself!

And Bill goes along:

BILL

Yeah! Shut the fuck up.

MIKE

Let us sleep!

Richie widens his eyes at the camera, and then he takes a sip at his coffee.

RICHIE

(in a whisper)

They're jealous that I'm not hangover.

INT. A HALL. OUTSIDE OF EDDIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT.

Richie standing in an apartment-hallway, it's very fancy. The floor is made of marble and all of the doors around him are broad and white.

Richie is wearing a pantsuit, white shirt and a Hawaiian shirt over it - surprisingly. He has a bottle of Scotch in hands.

He rings the doorbell.

RICHIE

(to camera)

I didn't get the strippers.

He waits for someone to answer the door, tapping his feet on the floor. Until the door opens, revealing Eddie. Who looks utterly surprised to see him. They lock eyes for some time. There's a strong tension between them.

EDDIE

Richie... Hey!

RICHIE

Hey, Spaghetti.

Eddie frowns, looking down at the Scotch in Richie's hands.

EDDIE

All the alcohol was already delivered earlier. You sent it.

RICHIE

(in a joking tone)

This is a gift for dad: Expensive whiskey from his alcoholic son...!

Eddie doesn't laugh. There's an uncomfortable silence between the two of them. Both of them trying to ignore their argument from earlier. The tension gets unbearable. Richie tries to peek at the apartment behind Eddie, which is not hard because Eddie is way smaller than him.

RICHIE

Is the wife in?

Eddie frowns.

EDDIE

No.

There's more uncomfortable silence between then, until Richie offers him a smile:

RICHIE

Aren't you going to invite me in?

Eddie's mouth forms an 'o', and he backs away from the door. Richie walks into the apartment and he is utterly surprised.

INT. EDDIE'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS.

The flat is huge, too big for an affordable apartment in New York City. And it's fancy too, in a minimalistic way.

RICHIE

Holy fuck!

He pauses and he looks around some more.

RICHIE

When you told me the other day you had finished paying for your condo, were you talking about this condo?

Eddie just nods.

RICHIE

Fuck. You're rich! Why didn't you tell me that you're rich?

EDDIE

Richie, I told you that I work at Wall-street, I'm very hard working.

RICHIE

Yeah! But I thought you were, like... An intern or something.

EDDIE

At 38?

RICHIE

Yeah!

Richie pauses.

RICHIE

Fuck! Anyone who knows the basics about New York's real state would say you're a fucking millionaire.

EDDIE

Richie, now you're taking this too far.

But Richie is just staring at him. As if the huge living room, with fancy furniture, and expensive paintings weren't, by definition, taking it too far. They lock eyes.

RICHIE

(low)

I'm SO not paying for the suit.

EDDIE

What?

Richie looks, defensively at Eddie. But then he says in a joking tone:

RICHIE

You're rich, I'm broke. I'm not paying for the suit you gave me.

Eddie frowns at first, but then his face softens.

EDDIE

Okay.

Richie frowns, he raises his eyebrows. He's not sure if that's a joke.

RICHIE

For real?

EDDIE

(in a casual tone)

Sure. Yeah. You don't have to.

Pause. They lock eyes.

EDDIE

(in a low, cautious voice)

It looks good on you anyways.

Richie doesn't know what to answer to that, so he just swallows dry. He is overwhelmed, so he sits on the nearest sofa.

There's a long pause in which they just try to avoid each other's gaze. Until Eddie clears his throat.

EDDIE

Isn't your dad coming up?

RICHIE

What? What do you mean?

EDDIE

What do you mean, what do I mean? Didn't you pick him up?

RICHIE

What? No! I came early to help you getting things ready.

Eddie looks outrageous. He‘s gotten from disbelief to anger in a matter of seconds.

EDDIE

Oh my god, you're such a fucking idiot. You were supposed to be here AFTER the party to help me cleaning up, not before the party to help me getting things ready. Didn't you read the Memo?

Richie's eyes widen, and he nearly laughs.

RICHIE

There was a MEMO?

EDDIE

Of course there was a memo! I emailed it to you weeks ago!

RICHIE

You emailed it to me?

EDDIE

Yeah! And then I texted you saying that I had emailed it to you and you texted me back with... With fucking yellow thumbs-up!

Richie looks at him with wide eyes. He doesn't know what to say in his defense, so he just gasps.

RICHIE

So... Where was I supposed to be right now?

EDDIE

You were supposed to be at the suburbs picking your dad up because the guests are arriving in an hour!

Richie eyes are still wide open. He stands up and starts rushing to the door.

RICHIE

Fuck!

He goes into the hallway, and Eddie follows him, stopping at the open door.

INT. A HALL. OUTSIDE OF EDDIE'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS.

Richie is pressing the elevator button like a maniac. Until he looks side-ways, only to see that Eddie is still standing at the door frame of his apartment's door. As they lock eyes, Richie stops pushing the button and Eddie slowly gets his hand in his pocket to get his inhaler.

EDDIE

Uh... Sorry. I just want to say that I'm sorry. About yesterday, I mean. I'm sorry.

They stare at each other for a few seconds.

RICHIE

I'm sorry too.

They keep locking eyes, Eddie nods. Richie nods. And the elevator's door opens. They break their stare, Richie walking into the lift, and Eddie backing away to close the door. But before Richie goes in, he looks at Eddie one more time.

RICHIE

Thanks for the suit, by the way. It’s very nice of you to do some charity, Eds. Or should I call you mother Teresa now?

Eddie chuckles.

EDDIE

You're fucking welcome, jackass. And don’t call me... Either of those things.

They smile at each other. And Richie goes all in the elevator, and Eddie closes the door shut.

EXT. OUTSIDE RICHIE'S DAD HOUSE - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Richie stands outside of his dad’s house, he rings the doorbell. A few seconds later, the door opens revealing his dad.

DAD

Oh, hey, Richie.

RICHIE

Hey, dad. Are you ready?

DAD

Just a few minutes, son. You can wait inside.

Richie nods.

DAD

Just ——- just don’t go upstairs.

RICHIE

Why?

DAD

Just —- don’t.

And then dad backs away from the door, and walks into the house - leaving Richie alone. So, he walks into the house and climbs up the stairs.

INT. SPARE BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS.

Right at the end of the stairs, Richie walks into a room revealing MRS. K, who's watching TV and putting make up on at the same time. He just watches her for a few seconds.

RICHIE

(to camera)

How did she manage to have such a hot son?

But then, Mrs. K turns back to look at him.

MRS. K

(really nice)

Darling! Hello!

RICHIE

(really nice too)

Hey, Mrs. K.

MRS. K

It's so nice to see you here...

RICHIE

(to camera)

... At my childhood home...

MRS. K

Everything alright? You look a bit pale.

RICHIE

Yeah! I'm just picking dad up... The bachelor party is tonight.

MRS. K

How lovely! My bachelorette party is tonight too. I'm getting ready.

Richie nods, with a smile.

RICHIE

I'll just leave you to it, then. It was nice to ---

Mrs. K interrupts him, gesturing at a chair right next to hers.

MRS. K

No, no, no...! Don't you dare! Sit down! Let's have a little talk while you wait for your dad.

Richie looks at the camera - desperate. And then he looks at her - smiling. And he doesn't sit down yet, he walks over the bookshelves, looking at the objects on there.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Mom's books.

Mrs. K looks like she's expecting him to sit down, but when he doesn't, she just starts talking:

MRS. K

(with a constant smile on her face)

So. It's nice that we get to have some time alone, I've been meaning to talk to you, dear. I know it's not really my place. But I realize you don't have a mom anymore. And boys ---

As she says that, Richie turns to the camera.

RICHIE

(mouths to camera)

Boys?

MRS. K

Need someone to look after them. And your dad, poor man, he really does try but he's not ---- a woman, he's not a mom. It's not his job.

At this point, Richie is gaping at her in disbelief.

RICHIE

Look, Mrs. K... Uh, I appreciate it but...

But she is patting at the chair next to her.

MRS. K

Sit down, dear. I don't bite.

Richie doesn't move. He just frowns at her.

MRS. K

(a bit harsh, but still with a creepy smile on)

Sit down.

Richie is really scared, so he sits. When he does so, her smile gets wider.

RICHIE

Uh...

MRS. K

It came to my attention that you're a homosexual.

Richie looks at the camera and he almost laughs. And then he looks at her and she's just smiling - it's terrifying.

RICHIE

(low)

Bisexual.

MRS. K

What does that mean, dear?

Richie looks at the camera, he is unsure if that's a serious question.

RICHIE

It means that I like women and men and the genders in between.

Mrs. K smiles and nods.

MRS. K

I see. So, you have premarital sex with all sorts of people?

RICHIE

(smiling)

As long as they're consenting adults...

She keeps smiling. Richie is very tense and uncomfortable.

MRS. K

How about things?

RICHIE

What do you mean?

MRS. K

Have you ever had sex with animals?

RICHIE

WHAT?

MRS. K

(smiling)

Don't get me wrong, darling. I'm just trying to understand. No judgment on my part.

(pause, still with a smile)

Unless you're the one judging my incomprehension of modern things.

Richie is absolutely terrified.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Now, this escalated quickly.

(to Mrs. K)

Okay. Uh. No, I don't feel sexual attraction to animals or to inanimate objects.

She cheers, playfully. As if that was a victory.

MRS. K

Amazing!

(pause)

Have you got aids?

RICHIE

(quickly, with a creepy smile, matching hers)

No.

MRS. K

Did you get tested this week?

RICHIE

No.

MRS. K

Did you get tested this month?

RICHIE

No.

Mrs. K shakes her head in disapproval.

MRS. K

Then how are you so sure you don't have aids, darling?

She looks down at him, and quickly adds:

MRS. K

You do look a bit skinny.

Richie looks down at his slightly chubby belly - no, he doesn't look skinny at all. And then he looks up at Mrs. K, she has a big smile on her face.

RICHIE

You know, that's a terrible misconception about people who live with aids and ---

But then, he hears his dad calling him from downstairs.

DAD (O.S.)

RICHIE!

Richie lets out a sigh of relief and he stands up immediately, the chair makes a lot of noise.

RICHIE

I gotta go, dad's calling.

And he starts walking, heading to the door.

MRS. K

Sure, dear. Have a great party!

RICHIE

(without looking back, he's focused on leaving the room)

Thanks, Mrs. K. You too.

Richie is almost out of the door, when...

MRS. K

Hey, sweetie?

And he closes his eyes, he can't believe it. He turns back, at the door frame, to look at her.

MRS. K

When you're with my little boy Eddie, try not to touch him or to talk too near him. He's very fragile, he gets sick very easily. He's not used to being around... You diverse people.

Richie blinks at her, and then he blinks at the camera. And then he turns to her with a smile.

RICHIE

Don't worry, Mrs. K. I'll do my best not to infect him with my gayness. I can’t make promises, though.

She blinks at him. And for the first time in the conversation, her patronizing, condescending smile drops.

MRS. K

I'm sorry?

Richie suddenly looks terrified.

RICHIE

It's nothing. Uh, just a silly joke. I just--- dad and I are really late. So, yeah. Goodbye.

And then he turns around rushes out of the room. When he is out of the door, and closes it behind him, he looks at the camera:

RICHIE

(to camera)

I'm sure she's not going to be an evil stepmother. Just a fucking cunt one.

INT. EDDIE'S APARTMENT - HOURS LATER - NIGHT.

The bachelor party is happening. There are lots of old white men in suits drinking and laughing in Eddie‘s huge living room.

From the characters we know, there's Tom who's talking to someone in Eddie's (huge) balcony, that's attached to the living room. And Eddie who's walking around serving whiskey to the guests.

Richie stands on the corner, next to Stan.

RICHIE

... She‘s such a condescending, ignorant cunt, Stan. You have NO idea.

STAN

Richie, calm down!

RICHIE

I‘m not calming down! She’s a fucking homophobe! I can’t believe dad’s gone from mom to THAT!

Stan looks at him, and then he looks at Richie’s dad, who’s at the center of a bunch of old men at the other end of the room. He’s laughing and joking around.

STAN

He does look pretty happy to me.

RICHIE

Whose side are you on?

And Stan is about to answer him, but he immediately closes his mouth when an angry Eddie approaches them - more like, approaches Richie and completely ignores Stan's presence. Eddie is holding a tray with whiskey glasses and a whiskey bottle.

EDDIE

(he almost whispers)

Richie! There you are! Where are the strippers? People are getting impatient.

Richie chokes on his own spit.

RICHIE

Okay, Eds. Hear me out...

Eddie looks at him in expectation. Richie does not know what to say. Stan muffles a laugh.

RICHIE

... Hear me out...

Eddie still looks at him in expectation, until the realization hits him.

EDDIE

(low, almost to himself)

You didn't hire the strippers.

And Richie just shakes his head - shameful.

EDDIE

Oh my god, I've been trying to make this whole party perfect. But... You! You're... Fuck! What kind of bachelor party doesn't have strippers?

RICHIE

Dude! Chill out! Didn't I tell you? I called every single club in New York city - I mean, not ALL of them, but at least 5...! And there was no one available!

EDDIE

You had weeks to do this!

RICHIE

Look, we could improvise! How are your lap dancing skills? Mine are amazing, but I can't do it because it's my dad. It would be really creepy.

But Eddie is just staring at him, with a murderous look. Stan is watching it all with wide eyes, he is trying not to laugh.

RICHIE

(To camera)

I think it's working.

(to Eddie)

Or we could get the old people so drunk that they start doing the stripping themselves!

(to camera)

I did my fair share of stripping for booze in college.

As Eddie hears him, with the same murderous look, he pours himself a full glass of whiskey. When Richie finishes talking, he just blinks, and then he backs away, giving the whiskey a huge swing.

EDDIE

(mumbles)

Fuck it.

And then he disappears into the crowd of old people. Richie offers the camera a look of - I tried. And then he turns to Stan, who receives his look with raised eyebrows and a smirk.

STAN

You're a terrible person and an even worse co-groomsmen.

RICHIE

Isn't he hot, though? He's the stepbrother.

STAN

Yeah, I figured. He looks exactly like a human Miniature Pinscher.

Richie breaks down laughing, Stan laughs too.

JUMP CUT TO:

INT. EDDIE'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT NIGHT.

Richie stands alone right next to a table at the back of the room, there are trays with fancy snacks on the table, and Richie is holding a shrimp one. He is looking down at it, squinting. And then he looks up at the camera, and then he looks up at the crowd. As he does that, he spots a handsome young man, in his mid 30s, who is alone, with his back to the wall. Richie widens his eyes. And then he turns to the camera.

RICHIE

(To camera)

Shit! That's Harry. We used to date like 2 years ago. He was the last long-term relationship I had.

(pause)

I didn't exactly like him. He was very gentle all the time, he was an amazing cook, he'd run me baths, he'd laugh at all of my jokes. Everyone in my family loved him and he was really great with my friends. Plus, he was the biggest bottom, which is fine, of course. But he'd always literally cry after we had the most lukewarm, vanilla sex. Because he loved me so much. It was disgusting, really.

Until he notices that Harry is waving at him.

RICHIE

(to camera)

Fuck! He saw me.

He is smiling and waving back, he starts walking towards him.

RICHIE

(to camera)

What is he doing here?

Until he is right in front of Harry.

RICHIE

Harry! What a surprise.

He offers a handshake, Harry offers him a hug. They end up shaking hands.

HARRY

Your dad invited me. It was a surprise for me too!

RICHIE

(to camera)

Of course dad invited him.

(to Harry)

I didn't know you guys were still friends.

HARRY

You know, he's always going to be a father-in-law to me.

Richie gives the camera a look, with his eyebrows furrowed.

RICHIE

So, where have you been these 2 years? It's been a long time.

HARRY

Oh, yeah. I got promoted, I met an amazing, handsome, loving guy. We fell in love, and then we got married. And then we adopted these lovely twins...

Richie gives the camera another look.

RICHIE

Oh!

HARRY

(after a long pause)

And then we got divorced, like 3 months ago.

RICHIE

(condescending)

Oh! I'm not sorry.

(to camera, with a smirk)

That explains why he's here.

Harry smiles, genuinely.

HARRY

Yeah! There's no need to be sorry, really.

RICHIE

Seriously, Harry. I‘m not sorry. You‘ve abused of your rights, man. You've managed to get gay married and gay divorced. That's too much.

Harry laughs, in a very extra, loud way that.

HARRY

Wow! You almost got me there!

(pause, he laughs some more)

I've missed this. Really.

Richie offers him a smile.

HARRY

What about you? How are you doing?

And Richie is opening his mouth to speak, but then he looks past Harry and he spots Tom and Stan having a conversation at the corner of the room. Richie widens his eyes, and he looks like he's about to have a heart attack.

RICHIE

Actually, will you excuse me? I...

And he is already walking past Harry, towards his brother and his friend. The time passes slowly as he walks, like he's never going to get there. His eyes don't meet the camera.

Until he stops, right in front of the two people and even though he crossed a small distance, he is out of breath. His brother meets him with a smile.

TOM

Richie! How are you doing, buddy?

RICHIE

(with a half-hearted smile)

Hey...

TOM

Your boy Stan here -

(he touches Stan's shoulder)

Has been trying to convince me that it's a good idea to invest money in that little bar of yours.

Richie immediately looks at Stan for confirmation, and Stan nods with a confused smile.

RICHIE

(with a fake smile)

I'd be careful, Tom. It almost looks like you're trying to steal my best friend.

TOM

(with a fake smile, in a joking tone)

Just like you tried to steal my wife?

And then, Tom laughs - to point out that that was a joke. Richie laughs too, and Stan is just creeped out.

EXT. NEW YORK STREET. OUTSIDE OF EDDIE'S BUILDING - LATER THAT NIGHT.

Tom is alone on the sidewalk, he stands by his car and he's trying to unlock it, but he's a bit drunk.

Richie appears from inside the building, he is out of breath. He spots his brother and he walks towards him.

RICHIE

What the fuck is wrong with you?

Tom raises his eyebrows.

TOM

Jesus, chill out little brother.

RICHIE

You can't just do stuff like that to me, dude.

TOM

What did I do?

Richie just stares at him, in absolute frustration and disbelief.

RICHIE

Look, I'm going to talk to her, okay? You just need to give me some time.

TOM

The deadline is when she hands me the papers, Rich. You're running out of time.

Richie just gasps, hiding his face in his hands.

RICHIE

You're driving me fucking crazy, dude. You’re my BROTHER. Why are you doing this? I'm... I'm... Fucking clinically depressed and it's YOUR fault.

Tom actually laughs at that.

TOM

Facing the consequences of your actions isn't the same as clinical depression, Richie.

RICHIE

Dealing with blackmail isn't the same as facing consequences! It's blackmail!

Once again, Tom laughs. He opens the door of his car.

TOM

It's all a matter of phrasing, Richie. You should really get in law school and make that your Honors thesis, though. It's gonna blow minds!

And then he gets in the car, closes the door and drives away. Richie is left staring ahead.

He is incredibly frustrated, he ignores the camera. He rubs his face, and then turns away to get back in the building. He walks a bit, but then he sees a DRUNK YOUNG MAN (maybe 19, 20 years-old), sitting on the curb. Richie watches him.

Until the drunk young man suddenly crashes to the floor. Richie immediately walks to him, helping him back up.

RICHIE

Are you okay?

The drunk young man nods, he starts laughing. And then he hugs Richie, cheerful.

DRUNK YOUNG MAN

Happy New Year!

Richie frowns, and for a mild second, he looks down at his phone, it's March 15th. He looks back at the boy.

RICHIE

Happy New Year.

(pause)

Aren't you too young to be drunk?

DRUNK YOUNG MAN

I'm...

(he makes math with his fingers)

RICHIE

No, you're not.

DRUNK YOUNG MAN

(very slowly and drunk)

Yeah... But... I can DRIVE. I can VOTE. I can GO TO JAIL. I can be in debt... Why can't I drink?

Richie considers - that's a reasonable point.

RICHIE

Because it's bad for you...? And your brain is still developing.

DRUNK YOUNG MAN

I know! I'm going to med school soon.

Richie nods, the young man settles with his head on Richie's shoulder.

DRUNK YOUNG MAN

Why are you all by yourself on new years eve?

RICHIE

I was just at a party, it's already over, but I'm going back soon to help cleaning up.

The young man nods, and then he looks up at Richie.

DRUNK YOUNG MAN

Can I come?

EXT. NEW YORK STREET - NIGHT - MOMENTS LATER.

Richie has hailed a taxi for the drunk young man. He picks him up.

RICHIE

Okay.

(the drunk guy moves towards the taxi)

Stay there, you're okay.

He opens the car door. Before the drunk young man gets into the car, he looks at Richie:

DRUNK YOUNG MAN

If the driver rapes me, it's gonna be your fault.

RICHIE

No, it's not. And you're not gonna get raped.

The young man nods and closes the door. Richie watches the car drive away.

INT. EDDIE'S APARTMENT - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT.

The main door to Eddie's apartment is half-open, there are bottles all over the floor, it looks exactly like a usual place after a party.

Blank Space by Taylor Swift plays VERY loudly.

Eddie is standing there, trying to reach high into a cupboard. He is drunk.

Until, the door is pushed open, and Richie enters the apartment. He looks around and he is surprised to see Eddie practically jumping to reach the cupboard. Eddie doesn't notice that he is there yet, he has his back to him.

Richie stops the music.

EDDIE

FUCK! Right when the chorus were coming up?

Eddie turns and sees Richie. He jumps in surprise.

EDDIE

FUCK! JESUS!

Richie looks cautious.

RICHIE

Are you okay?

EDDIE

Yeah, yeah, I thought you were in my head, for a moment. I mean, you WERE in my head before. And then you just appeared out of nowhere.

Richie raises his eyebrows in surprise, and then he lets out a surprised, nervous laugh.

RICHIE

How did you get so drunk so fast, Eds?

Eddie takes a deep breath, he looks angry at first and then, he just says:

EDDIE

Fuck you, using those nicknames on me, like it doesn't turn you on just to say them.

There's a long pause. They lock eyes. Richie doesn't know what to say to that, so he just gasps.

EDDIE

Do you want a drink?

RICHIE

I don't drink anymore.

EDDIE

Oooh, yeah. Fuck. Sorry. I forgot.

Richie nods.

EDDIE

Are you a nostalgic person?

RICHIE

Maybe. I don't know.

EDDIE

Do you like the Backstreet boys?

RICHIE

I used to.

EDDIE

I fucking love them. I can't listen to their songs without crying.

He brings his palm to his heart and he says:

EDDIE

I want it that way.

And Richie repeats the gesture.

RICHIE

Fuck yeah, I want it that way.

They lock eyes, Eddie offers him a chuckle.

EDDIE

Why are you here? Sorry but - why are you here? The party is over. You were already gone.

RICHIE

(frowns)

You said in the Memo that I'd have to be here after the party, to help you cleaning up.

Eddie looks at him in disbelief, and then he smiles and his smile turns into a laugh.

EDDIE

(cheerful)

YOU READ THE MEMO?

Richie nods.

EDDIE

I can't believe you read the memo!

Eddie looks like he's about to cry in absolute joy.

RICHIE

I didn’t read all of it, just...

But he stops because Eddie is laughing. He laughs, and he laughs. And Richie just watches it all with amazement. Until Eddie has stopped laughing.

EDDIE

Look, I know you quit, but would it be rude if I had a drink?

Richie shakes his head no.

Eddie looks up at the cupboard, where a bottle of scotch can be seen. And then he jumps, but he can't reach the bottle.

RICHIE

(laughing)

Do you want me to get that for you?

Eddie turns to Richie.

EDDIE

(nodding)

I can't reach. It's the last bottle. And I can't REACH!

Richie smiles sweetly and, as he locks eyes with Eddie, he walks near the cupboard. But Eddie is still there and he doesn't move.

Richie just stops right in front of him, so they're chest to chest, Eddie between Richie and the cupboard. They lock eyes, and Richie reaches up for the bottle, without looking up.

Richie hands Eddie the bottle and he takes one step back, even though they're still pretty close.

Eddie is still looking up at him, gaping.

EDDIE

Why are you so fucking tall?

Richie opens his mouth to speak, maybe to crack a joke. But he immediately closes his mouth when he feels Eddie's hand on his shoulder.

EDDIE

And these fucking broad shoulders... It's... It's offensive.

But he doesn't take his hand off, he just squeezes. So, Richie takes some more steps back, he is overwhelmed.

RICHIE

Do you want glasses? You can't drink that without a glass.

Eddie already has a glass, he shows it to Richie. Who just nods.

EDDIE

(to Richie)

Thanks.

(quietly, up to God)

Thank you.

Richie frowns, he doesn't get it. Eddie starts pouring the whiskey, and as he does that, he says:

EDDIE

You know, there was a man who wanted to be a saint SO BADLY that he castrated himself to stop himself from... You know.

RICHIE

Wow!

EDDIE

Yeah! When I heard that story in seminary, I used to think that it was stupid. Like, absurd, really.

(pause)

But nowadays, sometimes when I'm about to have sex with my wife I feel like that would be a reasonable thing to do.

Richie chokes on his own spit, he can't believe in what he's just heard.

RICHIE

WOW! Okay.

Richie is really shocked, what causes Eddie to correct himself:

EDDIE

Not literally, you know. Just hypothetically.

(pause, he winces)

Shit, I can't believe I said that out loud.

Eddie takes his glass of scotch and sits down on a couch. Richie follows him and sits on an armchair across from it, there's MUCH space between the couch and the armchair.

They watch each other for a few seconds.

RICHIE

I'm sorry about yesterday. At the bar. And about today too. For not hiring the strippers.

EDDIE

It's okay.

(pause, he hides his face behind his glass)

Jesus, I can’t believe you’ve ruined my party and I still like you.

Richie smiles - thank you. There's a long pause. They watch each other until the tension gets too uncomfortable and Richie looks everywhere, but at Eddie. He settles at a Cross that's on the wall behind the couch, right above Eddie's head.

RICHIE

Do you pray?

EDDIE

Yeah. Do you?

RICHIE

No. Sometimes I wish I knew how to. There's so much going on in my life, that I almost wish that an old, angry bearded man who's got all the power in the universe would punish me for it.

EDDIE

He will. If it's something bad.

Richie breaks down laughing.

RICHIE

Then I'm screwed.

EDDIE

You're too hard on yourself.

And Richie keeps laughing.

EDDIE

But you... You could always confess.

RICHIE

I'm not telling my secrets to some priest.

Eddie nods.

EDDIE

Look. I can't offer you forgiveness. I'm not a priest. But if you need a friend, you can talk to me. I won’t judge you.

Richie smiles sweetly at Eddie.

RICHIE

Or... We could play confession, and you make me tell you all my secrets so you can blackmail and control me for the rest of my life...?

Eddie breaks down laughing, he almost spills his drink on the couch.

EDDIE

You have such a shameless priest kink!

RICHIE

And what about it, my dear Spaghetti?

Eddie laughs.

EDDIE

Okay. Fuck. Okay, let's do this, you tell me ---

RICHIE

Wait, wait, wait a minute. Just like that? Don't you have a confessional booth hidden somewhere in the apartment? Maybe a sexy priest costume...?

Now Eddie just rolls his eyes.

EDDIE

Richie! Come on! This is serious!

Richie does his best to keep his face straight. Eddie nods in approval.

EDDIE

Okay. Now you tell me what is weighing your heart and I listen to you without judgment and in complete confidence.

RICHIE

Sounds risky.

EDDIE

I'll just... Listen.

Richie nods, he opens his mouth. But then he visibly gives up on what he was planning to say. He winces.

RICHIE

This is ridiculous, I'm not a catholic.

EDDIE

And I'm not a priest.

RICHIE

Jesus will probably throw a lighting at your building and kill us both. And all the innocent, rich people who live here.

EDDIE

He’s not going to do that! I'm sure He's going to understand that I'm drunk.

Richie offers him a smile.

EDDIE

Go on.

RICHIE

What do I say?

EDDIE

This isn't the real thing, so you just ---

RICHIE

Should we be facing each other?

EDDIE

Yeah.

RICHIE

Why?

EDDIE

Because I want to.

They lock eyes, there's a strong tension between them.

EDDIE

Tell me about your si --

RICHIE

Sins?

EDDIE

Yeah. If you want to.

There's a big pause, Richie looks down at his hands, he wishes he had a glass to hold.

RICHIE

I lied.

EDDIE

Okay.

RICHIE

To you.

EDDIE

About...?

RICHIE

About the miscarriage.

Richie winces, Eddie is clearly surprised.

RICHIE

I was just covering for my sister-in-law who actually had one, because my brother didn't know she was pregnant.

Eddie’s face softens.

EDDIE

Okay.

(pause)

Keep going.

RICHIE

And I've stolen things. I've had a LOT of sex outside of marriage. And... once or twice inside of... Someone else's.

Richie pauses, he looks intensely at Eddie, who doesn't even wince. There‘s a long pause, until Richie clears his throat and keeps going:

RICHIE

... There's been a LOT of sodomy, on both ends, in every single possible legal variation. A bit of violence. There's been masturbation too. Lots of blasphemy...

Eddie is muffling a laugh.

EDDIE

And...?

RICHIE

And ---

EDDIE

Go on!

RICHIE

Okay. And...

INT. BATHROOM - FLASHBACK - 6 MONTHS AGO - NIGHT.

Stan is in the bathtub, the bubbles are red with blood. He isn‘t passed out yet, but he looks weak. He looks directly into the camera.

INT. EDDIE'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS.

Back in the present, with Eddie and Richie.

EDDIE

It's okay, keep going.

Long pause, Richie looks at anywhere but at Eddie's eyes.

RICHIE

I'm terrified.

EDDIE

Of what?

Richie swallows dry. It's not easy for him to say it, but he does...

RICHIE

Of losing --- things. People.

(pause)

Losing people.

There's a pause, Eddie tries to meet his eyes, but he doesn't look up.

RICHIE

And I'm afraid of not knowing what I ---

Long pause, the rest of the sentence is stuck in Richie's throat.

EDDIE

Want? It's okay not to know what you want.

RICHIE

No, I know what I want. I know exactly what I want ---

Pause, Richie looks directly into Eddie's eyes, he licks his lips.

RICHIE

-- right now.

EDDIE

(oblivious)

And what's that?

RICHIE

It's messed up.

EDDIE

It's okay.

Richie nods, he looks down at his hands.

RICHIE

I want someone to tell me what to wear in the morning.

Long pause. Eddie frowns, Richie looks up at him.

EDDIE

Okay. I think there are people who can do that ---

RICHIE

No, I want someone to tell me what to wear every morning… I want someone to tell me what to eat, what to like, what to hate, what to be angry about, what to listen to, what band to like, what to buy tickets for, what to joke about, what not to joke about. I want someone to tell me what to believe in, who to vote for, who to love, how to love, because I have no fucking idea.

He tentatively looks up at Eddie, but he just can’t meet his eyes. Until he does, and he can’t look away. Richie’s eyes are filled with tears.

RICHIE

(looking into Eddie’s eyes)

I just think I want someone to tell me...

(his voice breaks)

... how to live my life, Eds, because so far, I’ve been getting it all wrong.

He looks down at his hands. At this point, tears fall down his cheeks and he can’t help but feel exposed because of the fact that Eddie can look directly through him.

RICHIE

And I know that is why people want... Religion in their lives. Because it just tells them how to do it. It just tells them what to do. And what they’ll get out of the end of it. And even though I don’t believe your bullshit and I know that scientifically nothing I do makes any difference in the end anyway, I’m still...

(his voice breaks, he is crying)

Scared. I’m still... Ashamed of being scared. And I’m... Ashamed of everything else. Of myself. Because I know that -knowing who I am and what I’ve done - I’m someone to be ashamed of.

Silence. He looks up at Eddie. They lock eyes. And Richie tries to hide the tears in his eyes, blinking really fast.

RICHIE

So... So what do I do now? Tell me what to do, Eddie.

EDDIE

(almost in a whisper)

You could pray. For forgiveness.

Richie laughs, but actually he is crying.

RICHIE

And how do I do that?

Eddie takes a deep breath, he puts his whiskey glass on the table next to the couch.

EDDIE

Close your eyes.

And Richie does. He closes his eyes.

A few seconds pass. The camera is only framed on Richie now.

RICHIE

What now?

EDDIE

Kneel.

There’s a long pause, Richie lets out a breath. He doesn’t open his eyes.

RICHIE

What?

Another pause. The camera is only facing Richie, we can’t see Eddie’s reaction.

EDDIE

Kneel.

Another pause. Richie doesn’t move. He also doesn‘t open his eyes.

EDDIE

(gently)

Just kneel...

And Richie kneels, right in front of the armchair he was sitting on.

Until we hear Eddie standing up. There’s a long silence.

RICHIE

(in a joking tone, he‘s nervous)

What now? Should I clap my hands together, say a little prayer for you?

Suddenly Eddie is invading the frame. He stands over Richie. And Richie immediately opens his eyes. He looks up at him. They lock eyes for a mild second. Until Eddie kneels in front of him.

They look into each other’s eyes, Richie looks overwhelmed. He doesn’t move.

Until Eddie takes his face in his hands, he caresses his cheekbones. They are breathing nervously.

Eddie looks down at his lips, and then up at his eyes. One of his hands slips into Richie’s hair.

But he doesn’t seem like he’s going to take any action, so Richie moves his lips forward and they kiss.

It’s sweet at first, an electrifying brush of lips that soon becomes a gentle, loving kiss.

They stop and they look into each other’s eyes, and then they start kissing again. It’s more passionate now, they start standing up as they kiss.

The kiss gets more physical each second: Eddie yanks at Richie’s hair, Richie grabs his ass to get him closer and closer. Richie gets Eddie against the wall next to the sofa and they kiss between gasps and small noises.

The passion builds and builds…

But then -

They hear a key turning in the doorknob.

They immediately stop. They both turn to look at the door.

The camera changes to show only the door, the doorknob turns and the door opens slowly. To reveal MYRA, who walks in.

The camera is back on the boys, they’re at opposite sides of the room, picking up bottles from the floor.

MYRA

Good evening, boys.

RICHIE

(cheerful)

Hey, Myra!

EDDIE

Hey, honey. How was the party?

Myra approaches Eddie and gives him a quick peck on the lips. Richie winces as he watches that happening.

MYRA

I’ll tell you everything later. I‘m going to take a shower now, I’m exhausted.

Eddie nods, trying not to show his relief. Myra starts walking into the hallway.

MYRA

Make yourself at home, Richie!

(she pauses)

And Eddie-bear?

EDDIE

Yes, honey?

MYRA

Just to get you started on the party, your mom got a lap dance.

She giggles, and then disappears into the hallway. Richie lets out a breath of relief, he then looks at Eddie searching for the same reaction, but Eddie is tense and looking ahead. Until he meets his gaze, and Richie tries to smile. They lock eyes for a mild second.

But then Eddie turns, mortified. He walks to the door and opens it, gesturing for Richie to walk past it.

Richie meets his eyes as he walks out of the flat and Eddie closes the door quietly.

With the closed door behind him, Richie looks at the camera - and he shrugs.

With that the scene...

FADES OUT.